Careen Chepchumba 'was to sue ex-TV anchor Louis Otieno for extortion'

Former TV Presenter Louis Otieno

The late Careen Chepchumba had planned to sue former TV anchor Louis Otieno for extortion, an inquest heard yesterday.

A witness told the inquest how Chepchumba went on a borrowing spree from relatives and business partners.

Chepchumba’s uncle Edward Bitok claimed that before Chepchumba was killed, she expressed disappointment with Louis and wanted to file extortion claims with the police and with a view to restraining him from visiting her house.

Chepchumba, 26, was found lying dead in her bed at Santonia Court, off Kirichwa Road in Kilimani, Nairobi, on February 14, 2012.

Bitok said Chepchumba’s father Hosea Kili had convened an emergency meeting on February 12, 2012 at his home after he realised she had borrowed over Sh3 million from friends and relatives.

Money Lender

During the meeting, it was discovered Chepchumba owed her business partner Erick Kimani Sh1.2 million. He told the court that when asked where she took such huge sums of money, she said she said had been paying rent and medical bills for Otieno.

Bitok also claimed Chepchumba told them she was paying school fees for Otieno’s two children.

“She told us that Otieno was annoyed that she could not raise money for his son,” he told the inquest.

He said after the meeting, it was agreed that Chepchumba’s household goods were to be sold and part of her salary was to be attached and proceeds used to pay her debts. She was also told to go back to her parents’ house.

 Bitok recalled that on October 26, 2011, Chepchumba came to his office and requested for financial assistance, claiming she wanted to expand her business. She requested for Sh800,000.

“She claimed that since her business was picking up, she wanted me to assist her get a lender,” he told the inquest.

Bitok also testified that she told him she could repay the loan and to back up her request, she had in her possession a cheque of Sh9,000,000, which she told him was for an amount of goods she had delivered. She said she would refund the money once the cheque was cleared.

“Having known her since she was young, I was convinced and promised to link her with a money lender,” he told Kibera Senior Principal Magistrate Charles Ondieki. He said the lender wanted him to to be the guarantor, since he (lender) did not know Chepchumba.

Bitok recalled that he went ahead to give Chepchumba Sh800,000 while waiting for the lender to make arrangements to deliver the cash days later.

She also made another request in which she wanted the uncle to talk to her parents over their relationship with Loius after they complained about his age and past.