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Confusion as 'prime suspect' in Star journalist murder fails to appear in court

By Olivia Odhiambo | November 25th 2019 at 05:23:17 GMT +0300

Ugunja police station deputy OCS Sabina Kerubo after she was arrested in connection with the murder of Siaya based Star Journalist Erick Oloo. The deceased was found dead in her house. [Collins Oduor, Standard]

Sabina Kerubo, one of the prime suspects in the murder of Siaya-based Star journalist Erick Oloo, was missing in court as her two accomplices appear before the court over the gruesome murder. 

Chief inspector Kerubo, her househelp Joyce Awuor and the teenage daughter were not arraigned in court today in what seems like a ploy to shield the senior cop from prosecution.

Conflicting reports

There are conflicting reports by both prosecutor and police on the number of suspects in police custody.

The prosecutor told the court that they had only arrested two suspects and needed time to investigate and arrest more suspects while on the other hand, the police maintained six suspects had been arrested in connection with the murder.

Pressed to answer why only two suspects were brought to court instead of six, County Commissioner Michael Ole Tialal, told the media that they were still processing the other suspects and were likely to charge them tomorrow.

It was, however, not clear, in which police station the other four suspects were being held.

On Thursday, Siaya police boss Francis Kooli had ordered that all the suspects including Kerubo be taken to Siaya Police Station.

It has, however, emerged that Kerubo, her househelp, and daughter were not taken to Siaya as was ordered and neither are they in Ugunja Police Station.

Tialal has, however, maintained that Kerubo, the househelp, the daughter and another suspect were being held at Ugunja as suspects and also for their security.

"The other suspects are being processed to be taken to court tomorrow. Kerubo cannot stay in her house because of her security. I can confirm, she is in Ugunja Police Station," he said.


 11 days in custody

While presenting the other two suspects in court, Prosecutor David Okatch asked the magistrate to allow him to hold Victor Ogolla, and his brother Franklin Lutta for 14 more days to complete investigations.

The prosecutor told the court, that he was relying on an affidavit signed by inspector of police Joseph Kinuthia swore on November 25

"I am seeking for 14 days to complete investigations before the key suspects are charged. We are looking forward to arresting more suspects," said Okatch.

The suspects, however, told the court that 14 days was such a long time as they had stayed in police custody for the past three days.

First suspect Ogolla told the court he has been in the police cell since Thursday and nothing had been done on the matter, while the second suspect, Lutta on the other hand, said he was comfortable with the court decision.

Magistrate James Ongondo ruled that the prosecutor hold the suspects for 11 days instead of the 14 days he had requested.

"I will give you 11 days because they have stayed in custody for three days already. On December 10, they will be brought back to court," added the magistrate.


But a highly placed source told The Standard that there are plans to use Kerubo, the house help and her teenage daughter as witnesses and not suspects.

"The police in Ugunja are saying that Kerubo was too drunk that night, that she was not in a position to tell what was really happening and she could not have been part of the murder, plot," said the police who sought anonymity.

Oloo's body was found in Sabina’s house in Ugunja, sub-county on the morning of Thursday last week.

Oloo and Kerubo have been cohabiting as husband and wife for the past 14 months according to the neighbours.

The 41-year-old scribe was murdered using a blunt object according to the postmortem report.

The report released on Saturday afternoon by Government Pathologist Dr Gabriel Juma showed he was hit by a blunt object on the head and stomach.

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