Garissa University College terror attack suspects Mohamed Surow, Osman Dakane, Mohamed Abikar, Hassan Aden and Sahal Hussein at Milimani Law Courts


Security lights at Garissa University were off for many hours before the terrorist attack, court has been told.

Collins Waliula a university student leader at the time told the court that on the fateful day they were from a trip at Moi University with his 10 colleagues when they arrived at the campus at 1 am they found the campus in darkness.

“We reached at the university at the gate and found that security were off which was unusual. Due to the fact that we were tired we did not bother to know why lights were off we straight went to sleep,” Waliula told Milimani Chief Magistrate Daniel Ogembo.

Waliula who was the first witness to testify recounted how they were awoken by gunshots at 5am and he and his roommate opted to remain in their room. He was testifying in the case in which five suspects are accused of being behind Garissa University College terror attack in which 149 people died.

The suspects are Mohamed Ali Abdikar, Hassan Aden Hassan, Sahal Diriye, Osman Abdi and Rashid Charles, a Tanzanian, who have since denied 162 counts of terrorism.

“The gunshots were renting the air and I heard my colleagues running up and down in the hostels. At first we it was an ordinary robbery but the situation degenerated into something serious as the shooting continued for long,” Waliula testified.

Waliula also recalled that the President of the Student Council Kumba Laban and five of his close colleagues were victims of the attack that claimed

Waliula said while hiding in his room he overheard one the attackers shout in Swahili ‘there are others who are jumping through the fence shoot them on their legs’. Waliula further claimed that the attackers were likely to be locals as he overheard them calling some students who were killed by name.

He said he tried to peep through the window of his room but could manage to see the terrorists until 8am when he was rescued by KDF soldiers who at the time struggling to counter the attackers.

“I came out of my room and ran to where the KDF amid more gunshots and that is how I managed to escape and run to where there were KDF soldiers who later escorted me to their camp in Garissa Town,” he said.

However defence lawyers Steve Mogaka and Mbugua Mureithi sought to know from the witness about the security situation at the university prior to the attack. “To the best of your knowledge how was the college manned on a day to day basis,” Mogaka asked.

The witness said the gate was manned by two guards while two policemen officers were attached to patrol the campus throughout the day and night. He also said there was no procedure of entering the university