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Four charged afresh over Marsabit chief’s murder

Wednesday February 6 2019

The suspects in court on January 29, 2019.

The suspects in court on January 29, 2019. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

CHARLES WANYORO
By CHARLES WANYORO
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Four people who were released last week in connection to the murder of a chief in Marsabit have been charged afresh.

Former Marsabit councillor Mr Doyo Galgalo, Mr Galma Galgalo, Ms Bokaya Dida Boru and Mr Somo Huqa denied killing Dirib Kombo chief Bida Gogana barely a week after the office of the director of public prosecutions told the court to release them.

BAIL

Meru High Court Judge, Mr Justice Francis Gikonyo ordered that they be remanded until February 12 when bail application will be considered.

State Counsel Jacinta Nyamusi urged the court to deny the suspects bail claiming that witnesses in the case had received threats, and the prosecution feared that they would interfere with witnesses in the case.

She said the witnesses have already expressed their fears that they will be harmed by the suspects since they were influential members of the society.

Ms Nyamusi particularly emphasized that the second accused was facing another case where he was accused of attempted murder.

The court was also informed that detectives were investigating pre-bail report that was used in securing the release of the suspects.

However, the defence, through lawyer Kiget Kiprotich dismissed the allegations saying the prosecution was yet to furnish them with witness statements and thus they did not know who were their accusers.

He pointed out that three of the suspects had been out on bail before the DPP entered a nolle prosequi and they have been showing up in court without fail.

The four were accused of killing Mr Godana on December 16, 2018, in Garqarsa, Marsabit Central alongside others not before court.

The chief was hacked to death and his body doused in petrol before being and set on fire by people said to be from his community after he attended burial of a police reservist said to be a member of a rival community.

Ms Nyamusi said release of the four could derail their case, saying their arrest had caused a mob to surround a police station where they were being held, threatening to set it on fire.

“When they were arrested together with the third suspect, police were forced to take them to Laisamis police station after they mobilized a huge crowd to surround the Marsabit police station demanding their release.

“The crowd threatens to burn the police station if they were not released. We need to protect victims and their families as well as maintain order, peace and security,” she told the judge.

However, Mr Kiprotich and Mr Roger Sagana opposed the application and called on the court to release their clients on “lenient” bond terms.

He said his clients will abide by court during the trial when required.

The ruling on bail application will be made on February 12.