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Court detains Luta brothers in The Star journalist murder case

Monday November 25 2019

Luta brothers charged with murder of The Star journalist Eric Oloo

Mr Franklin Joel Luta, 25, and his elder brother Victor Ogola Luta, 28, accused of murdering The Star journalist Eric Oloo, were arraigned at the Siaya court on November 25, 2019. PHOTO | DICKENS WASONGA | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

DICKENS WASONGA
By DICKENS WASONGA
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Two brothers accused of murdering The Star journalist Eric Oloo were arraigned in a Siaya court on Monday.

Mr Franklin Joel Luta, 25, and his elder brother Victor Ogola Luta, 28, were not required to take plea before Siaya Principal Magistrate Geoffrey Ong'ondo.

Chief Inspector Sabina Kerubo, in whose house Mr Oloo was found dead on Thursday last week, was not presented in court.

Mr Oloo’s body was discovered in the house of Ms Kerubo with deep cuts on the head.

On Monday, investigating officer Tobias Akumu asked the court to give his team 14 days to conclude investigations.

WITNESSES

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The magistrate gave the investigators 11 days to wrap up investigations and bring the two suspects to court.

Five people— including the police officer, her teenage daughter and their househelp— had been arrested following the mysterious death.

Chief inspector Akumu, the investigating officer, said they were contemplating treating Ms Kerubo, her daughter and the maid as prosecution witnesses.

He added that investigations had revealed that the two Luta brothers were at the scene of crime on the night Mr Oloo was killed.

"Investigations directly link the two to the murder," he said.

Speaking to journalists moments after the two suspects were arraigned, Siaya County Commissioner Michael Ole Tialaal said that a total of six suspects have been arrested in connection with the murder.

PARALLEL INVESTIGATION

He further added Ms Kerubo and three other suspects, whose identities he did not disclose, will appear in court on Tuesday.

"Those who are involved will face the law," he said.

He said Ms Kerubo was being held at Ugunja Police Station for her safety.

Meanwhile, the Nation established that the Independent Police Overnight Authority (Ipoa) has launched parallel investigations into Ms Kerubo’s alleged involvement in death of  the journalist with whom she was cohabiting for close to two years.

Three officers from Ipoa’s Kisumu regional office visited Ugunja Police Station on Friday last week to record a statement.

CAUSE OF DEATH

The team, led by Chief Inspector Geoffrey Aramis, also visited the Ms Kerubo's house, which is now being treated as a crime scene.

They will also interview the policewoman and later look at the file of the ongoing probe by DCI, according to sources at Ipoa.

A postmortem report on Saturday revealed that the 40-year-old journalist died after being hit by a blunt object.

The results of the autopsy done by two pathologists from Siaya and Busia referral hospitals showed that Mr Oloo died due trauma to the head and abdomen.

Dr Gabriel Juma of Siaya Referral Hospital and Dr Cedric Tumbo from Busia Referral Hospital said the injuries were likely caused by a “ a blunt object”, possibly by a hammer or rungu (club).

Dr Juma, the lead pathologist, said there was heavy bleeding in the brain and abdomen.

"There was rapture of the spleen that led to bleeding in the abdomen," he said.

The body according to the pathologists also had four visible injuries on the forehead.

The one-hour-twenty-minute procedure conducted at Same Day Classmate private mortuary in Sega was witnessed by relatives of the scribe and the Chief Inspector Akumu.

WEAPON

Investigators handling the case will now be keen to establish what was the weapon used by those behind the murder.

Speaking to Nation on phone, Mr Akumu said they were yet to decide whether to question the mother of the two brothers being held over the journalist's death.

The mother is alleged to have dissuaded her son's from visiting the house of the police officer on the night the journalist was killed.

Among the leads the detectives are chasing include claims that the policewoman visited the home of the two brothers and asked them for “help”.

She is alleged to have visited the home, which is not far from hers, Wednesday night between 8pm and 9pm in the company of Victor and a small child.

Mr Oloo is understood to have been assaulted by the brothers as they attempted to kick him out of the officer’s house.

The woman, Mr Oloo had lived together with as husband and wife for two years, is said to have told their landlord on the Thursday he was found dead that Oloo was ill and she had sought help to transport him to hospital.