On Monday February 17,2020 the trial of Michael Okombe continued at the Nakuru High Court before Justice Joel Ngugi.
In the criminal case, Maryanne Mumbi and Calvin Okoth are both charged with the murder of Michael Okombe as contrary to Section 203 of the Penal Code. The murder as reported occurred on November 4, 2017 at Kiamunyi Estate in Nakuru County.
In a deposition by Moses Aketch, a cousin to Calvin Okoth, the witness state that on that particular day the late Okombe was drunk and behaved in a disorderly manner. Moroever, he was in a rage and picked a quarrel with every reveler at a birthday party.
The witness informed the court that he was in attendance at the birthday party which had been organised by the sister of the accused-Maryanne Mumbi. And so, by virtue of Mr Okombe being the boyfriend of Maryanne Mumbi, at the time before his demise, he was in attendance too. The witness categorically asserted that Maryanne Mumbi, Mr Okombe and himself had started drinking alcohol from 9 am in the morning. Later on at around 2 pm they joined Calvin Okoth at the birthday party where they continued partaking alcohol.
“When we arrived at Mumbi’s sister’s place, we met Calvin Okoth and his brother Vincent taking alcohol, we joined them as we awaited for lunch,” Aketch said.
It is around 5 pm that an argument between Okombe and Okoth ensued. The argument developed into a melee and efforts by other revelers to break the fight were to no avail. Nonetheless, Vincent was able to separate the two and Okombe was evicted from the party.
“I accompanied Okombe to the parking lot as he left. When I told him I was going back to the house to get more alcohol, he followed me,” he said.
The witness reckoned that Mr. Okombe followed him back to the house where he immediately slapped Calvin Okoth and held him by his shirt collar. It is then that a second fight between the accused and the victim began again but before Vincent could intervene again, Calvin Okoth had already picked a piece of wood and hit Okombe on the head.
He further testified that Maryanne Mumbi appeared in the crime scene at that same instance after being a witness of the shenanigans from afar. Nonetheless, instead of helping the victim she picked up a stone and hit Okombe with it making him profusely bleed through the mouth.
“I then saw the deceased lying down facing upwards with blood oozing from the back of his head.”
Meanwhile, Milka Njoki, a prosecution witness, was turned down from continuing to testify in the case. Learned Justice Joel Ngugi noted that the witness was the wife of Calvin Okoth and hence through Section 127 of the Evidence act she was not a competent witness unless the accused had made a formal request to that effect. The learned judge noted that the effect of the provision was to protect marriage as an institution.
“This special evidential rule is meant to protect the sanctity of marital communication and confidences between spouses in recognition of the unique bond that exists between spouses where there is total vulnerability and an opening of hearts one to the other,” ruled the court.
In arriving at this conclusion Justice Joel Ngugi referred to a ruling by the Court of Appeal in Kisumu where justices Otieno Odek, Patrick Kiage and Asike Makhandia ordered fresh retrial in a murder case where one Simon Nchore had been found guilty of the murder of Andrew Chacha in Migori County on September 18, 2013, after the court noted Nchore’s wife had testified against him.
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