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Judicial CP - March 2002

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Daily Nation, Nairobi, 23 March 2002

Ten to Hang for Killing Councillor

By John Oywa

Ten people are to be hanged for murdering a councillor.

Four of them will first serve 15 years in jail, with six strokes of the cane, for rape. Another was fined Sh5,000 and will serve six years in jail before facing the hangman.

Kisumu resident magistrate Betty Asuna said she was satisfied they murdered Ms Milka Nyaosi on February 26, last year, at Suneka, Kisii District.

She also found them guilty of robbery with violence.

Samwel Ondigo Oburu, who faced charges of robbery and rape, was believed to have been aged below 18 at the time. He was ordered taken to hospital for his age to be determined and will know his fate on March 28.

Three other people were acquitted for lack of evidence -- Mr Benjamin Ondieki Oburu, Mr John Oburu Ondigo and Ms Elizabeth Moraa Nyang'au.

The convicts were charged with murdering Mrs Nyaosi at her home, raping her female guests, injuring and robbing her husband, a retired police officer, Mr Henry Nyaosi, of his pistol and 14 bullets.

They also robbed him of his car, Sh50,000 cash, 4 suits, 3 pairs of shoes, 3 blankets, a watch and a radio, all worth Sh780,000.

The convicts sentenced to death were Robert Morara Nyang'au, Bernard Mokari Monyoncho, Evans Kiberi Omwebu, Wilfred Nyaata Magero, Samwel Ondigo Oburu, Richard Makori Okero, John Nyasoko, Josephat Ondieki Matogo, Patrick Mochama Nyakina, Benjamin Ondieki Oburu, John Oburu Ondigo, Johnson Sure Omoke, Elizabeth Moraa Nyang'au and Elijah Bikeri Masese.

Nyakina was convicted separately of assault while Monyoncho, Omwebu, Magero and Okero were found guilty of rape.

A large crowd attended court to hear the judgment on a murder that shocked the community.

"There is no doubt left in my mind that the accused committed the offences," Ms Asuna said.

Emotions ran high as the convicts were led to Kodiaga prison to await their deaths.

Defence counsel Richard Onsongo told the Magistrate he had nothing to tell the court just before she passed the sentence. The accused, too, had nothing to say in mitigation.

Looking dishevelled and crest-fallen, they all asked the court to decide their fate.

Prosecutor Wycliffe Sumba informed the court that one of the convicts, Josephat Ondieki Matogo, was a jailbird and had three previous convictions. The rest were first offenders.

Mr Onsongo said he would appeal against the sentences.

Copyright © 2002 The Nation.

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