A Busia court has sentenced a chief accused of incitement to 115-years in prison.
Ong’aroi assistant chief Andrew Odata was arrested and arraigned on June 13, 2016 on allegations of inciting villagers to burn down the homestead of one of the residents, Francis Ong’amo.
This left Ong’amo’s family homeless and has been camping at the Kenya Medical Research Institute, Alupe since June 14, 2016.
The assistant chief claimed that the victim bewitched his younger brother who died on June 6, 2016.
The assistant chief was arrested alongside 10 other people, who were later set free after the court determined their innocence.
Senior Principal Magistrate Patrick Olengo in his ruling said that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused had committed the offense.
“The offence carries a life imprisonment. The victims of the crime have not gone back to their home. The residents relied on the assistant chief for their security but he betrayed them by deciding to take sides in a dispute.”
“I am convinced that the prosecution proved its case against the first accused beyond reasonable doubt. I find Andrew Odata guilty of counts one to five and hereby convict him,”
“I hereby sentence him to 23 years’ imprisonment on each of the five counts. The sentences concurrently,” Senior Principal Magistrate Olengo said.
In his defense, the assistant chief pleaded for leniency saying that he was remorseful for what had occurred.
Odata told the court that he has six children of school-going age therefore sending him to jail would see the children drop out of school.
The chief’s family has protested the sentence while the aggrieved people asked the government to resettle them.