Mr Michael Juma Oyamo, the suspect being held in connection with the murder last week of university student Sharon Otieno, Monday protested his lengthy detention and claimed police officers had forcibly taken samples from him for DNA tests.
Mr Oyamo, who has become the centre of the story of the abduction and murder of Ms Otieno, was ordered detained for one more day. After that, investigators will have to prove that they are not holding him beyond reasonable time.
His lawyers — Mr Neville Amollo, Mrs June Ashioya and Mr Rogers Miisai — said their client had been forced to give saliva samples for DNA tests, and that he was being held in custody for reasons that won’t affect investigations.
The court will decide on Tuesday whether to release him, but the police deferred their explanation for taking DNA samples, saying they will table it during the hearing.
MOVED TO OYUGIS
They were also accused of moving Mr Oyamo to Oyugis on Friday despite a court specifying that he be held in Homa Bay. The officers admitted doing this, which Mr Oyamo’s lawyers argued amounted to violating a court order.
Wearing a striped blue-and-white shirt, a grey jumper, brown khaki trousers and a brown pair of shoes, Mr Oyamo was brought to court under tight security by more than five police officers.
Around the court premises, locals who accompanied the family of Ms Otieno bayed for his blood, while inside the courtroom, before the proceedings started, a mob hurled epithets at him and attempted to beat him but was restrained by the police.
The dramatic way in which the suspect was ushered into the court premises and room even caught the eye of the magistrate, who warned against manhandling the suspect unless “he is giving you problems”.
The police ordered the public out and allowed only the family, lawyers, and the media inside the court, but the public would have none of it. A fracas ensued, and the police allowed members of the public to stay on.
Three metres from Mr Oyamo were Ms Otieno’s parents, Melida Auma and Douglas Otieno, visibly angry. A group of lawyers and investigators acted as a buffer between the parents and the man accused of killing their daughter and unborn grandchild.
Mr Oyamo sat pensively in the dock, looking tired, gloomy and unsettled. Efforts by the magistrate to have him speak, and maybe raise any concerns regarding his safety and health, bore no fruit as he remained silent, staring blankly at the court officials.
The former soldier looked powerless and helpless on the other side of the law, with the little strength he could gather being used to nod to his lawyers, perhaps to give them the go-ahead to address the court.
The prosecution, led by Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Tom Imbali, sought to have Mr Oyamo locked up until Monday next week to enable detectives wrap up their investigations, but Senior Resident Magistrate Lester Simiyu declined the request and granted them 24 hours only.