Teacher charged with murder of class eight pupil and her 10-month-old baby

Eric Otieno Ooko. He was arraigned in Homa Bay High Court for the murder of Rihana Nafula and her baby Everlyn Aoko (Photo: James Omoro)

A primary school teacher has been charged over the killing of a Class Eight pupil and her 10-month-old daughter, who he allegedly sired.

Eric Otieno Ooko of Gethsemane Academy in Mfangano Island, Mbita Sub-county was arraigned in Homa Bay High Court yesterday, charged with the murder of Rihana Nafula and her daughter Everlyn Aoko.

In the first count, Ooko was accused of murdering Rihana at Seka B village in Mbita Sub-county between October 21 and 26, 2019.

In the second count, he was charged with murdering Everlyn on the same day and place.

Ooko was reported to have killed the 13-year-old girl and her baby after defiling her last year. It is through the defilement that he is suspected to have impregnated the minor.

Rihana was being hosted by the school as a vulnerable child.

According to an affidavit signed by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations officer in charge of Mbita Sub-county Philip Sang, Ooko killed Rihana and buried her body in a shallow grave near his home.

He also strangled Everlyn and dumped her body in a bush within the village. The bodies were later discovered by a resident of the village.

According to Sang, Ooko committed the offense to interfere with witnesses in a defilement case he was facing at a Mbita court.

Sang indicated that the minor left her cousin’s house with her baby to attend an ante-natal clinic in Sindo township on January 22, but never returned.

Her absence saw the court withdraw the case, citing lack of the key witness.

However, before the withdrawal of the case, Ooko was charged with conspiracy to interfere with witnesses.

He was to appear in court on April 11, but he absconded the proceedings, leading to issuance of an arrest warrant.

He further disappeared from his village after the bodies were discovered.

Ooko was later arrested by DCI officials  at Obunga estate in Kisumu and later arraigned.

He denied the charges before Justice Joseph Karanjah. Prosecutor Valerie Ongeti requested the court to deny him bond.

Ongeti argued that the bond would make him interfere with witnesses in the case.

“It is the right of an accused person to be granted bond, but this one can interfere with witnesses. Kindly deny him bond,” Ms Ongeti argued.

Justice Karanjah ruled that Ooko be remanded without bond.

He directed that the accused could apply for the bond at later stages of the case.

The case will be heard on April 6, 2020.