A cheating girlfriend, a stolen motorcycle, and a death sentence

for Tv47 Digital February 21, 2022, 12:33 PM

An aerial view of Mbita town, Homa Bay. Oduor was in his Probox when he watched the drama unfold. He would end up in prison in a rather unfortunate turn of events. PHOTOS/FILE

In one of his works, late Nigerian author Chinua Achebe writes that every man has his own "Chi" (good luck spirit). On any given day, your "Chi" can be away. And that's when you learn that china is cutlery, not a country. On that balmy February evening, Oduor's "Chi" was gallivanting at Dunga Beach, 98.5 kilometres away. He waved it goodbye the moment he informed Ochieng 'Pollo, probably then adjusting his button fly, that he had seen the man who had stolen his motorcycle.

Motorcycle Recovery Mission

The following morning Oduor took Ochieng 'Pollo in the Probox and they went in search of Eric. They found him inside his house. Eric confessed to having stolen the motorcycle and said he would show them where he had hidden it - at Onungo Stadium.

"But before going to Onungo Stadium, the three proceeded to Mbita Bus Stage first to report to the Chairman of Mbita PikiPiki Association," the Court of Appeal ruling says. "When they did not get the Chairman in the office, they went to his home."

After leaving the Chairman’s home, the three proceeded to the stadium, where they retrieved the motorcycle. The Chairman later arrived at the stadium and found a large crowd, which included Oduor beating the deceased, who had been tied with a sisal rope.

The Chairman, whose name was not revealed, specifically testified that he saw Oduor "beating the deceased on the buttocks and back." The deceased pleaded with Oduor to stop but all was in vain.

It was at this point that he (Chairman) left to call the police. "When he returned with some officers to the scene, the crowd dispersed and the police took away the deceased, who was rushed to Mbita District Hospital for treatment due to severe injuries. The deceased, unfortunately succumbed to the injuries that afternoon," said the court.

Cause of Death

Eric died as a result of heamothorax and violent trauma from the mob beating. Oduor was subsequently arrested and charged over the death. In his defense, he said that at the Bus Stage, they encountered a hostile mob that shouted, " thief, thief". The mob ordered them out of the vehicle as he pleaded for mercy.

The court disagreed- first in 2016 and on May 7 when his appeal was thrown out.  "The learned judge was convinced that....the appellant was engaged in an unlawful act that led to the death of the deceased, even if such death may not have been intended or anticipated by him," said the Court of Appeal, adding: "Although there was no evidence of an initial pre-meditated agreement or joint purpose to kill, the same could rightly be inferred from the mob action of jointly attacking the deceased in which the appellant was a party."

With his appeal having failed, Evans Otieno Oduor will cool his heels in a maximum security prison for the rest of his life, beckoning his "Chi" and wishing he'd just kept to himself in the Probox, mouth shut, a loquacious Peeping Tom drained by his own bravado.

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