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Two on death row freed after 17 years in prison

Tuesday March 12 2019

Death row convicts freed

Free at last. Two former employees of a former prominent Nakuru businessman Said Abdalla Azubedi who were sentenced to death for robbing him have been finally freed after spending 17 years in jail. 

JOSEPH OPENDA
By JOSEPH OPENDA
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Two former employees of a former prominent Nakuru businessman Said Abdalla Azubedi who were sentenced to death for robbing him have been finally freed after spending 17 years in jail.

The two, Lenyesio Lekupe and Bernard Lecherono, who were guards at Mr Abdalla’s compound were serving the sentence after they were found guilty of attacking and robbing their boss of Sh600 on the night of December 16, 2002 in Bondeni Estate, Nakuru County.

Lekupe and Lecherono, while armed with clubs and swords clobbered Mr Abdalla after cornering him at his gate as he returned home from work and injured him.

BEAT UP GUARD

They also beat up their fellow guard who tried to defend his boss before they robbed him Sh600 and made away with other valuables.

But Justice Joel Ngugi gave them a second chance in life after he considered their application for re-sentencing.

He substituted their death sentence to a prison sentence equal to the time they have been in custody.

In his ruling, the judge noted that the two have already served sufficient punishment for the mistake they did and have been adequately rehabilitated.

“I am therefore convinced that no useful purpose will be served by the continued imprisonment of the two applicants. They made a dreadful mistake. They have paid the price for it. They have learnt from it. The society has sent a strong message that such conduct will not be tolerated. The Applicants are sufficiently rehabilitated. It is time for them to go home,” ruled Justice Ngugi.

TYCOON

Mr Azubedi, a pioneer real estate tycoon who lived in Bondeni slum died on February 26 while receiving treatment at Aga Khan Hospital in Nairobi aged 79.

The trader with Yemeni roots arrived in Kenya in the late 1960s and set up shop in Bondeni slums.

He was among the first wholesalers and distributors in the area, serving small scale traders in estates including Kaloleni, Kivumbini, Langalanga, Shauri Yako and Paul Machanga.

Mr Azubedi owned several plots in the posh Milimani estate but lived in a mud-walled house in Bondeni.