Rugby star Olaba detained for 7 days for allegations of attempted murder of a witness

Friday, April 23rd, 2021 17:06 |
Former Kenya Rugby Sevens player Alex Olaba.

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi

Former Kenya Rugby Sevens player Alex Olaba has been detained for seven days to allow police complete investigations into allegations of attempting to murder a witness in a gang rape case he is facing.

Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi  gave the police seven days instead of 10 saying the issues raised by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations were compelling enough to detain him.

“The suspect will be remanded at Kilimani Police station for seven days. The matter will be mentioned on April 30,” ruled the Magistrate.

Olaba alongside Lawrence Frank Wanyama were charged afresh on July last year with gang raping an upcoming female musician in Nairobi on April 23, 2018 at a house party at Seefar apartments in Nyayo Highrise estate.

The two who had been serving a 15 year sentence were charged afresh after the high court ordered their retrial on grounds that the existing records did not show whether the complainant was sworn or not.

On Friday, DCI through the investigating officer George Otieno told the court that Olaba was arrested following a report of attempting to murder a key witnesses in the case.

“The respondent made several attempts directly and indirectly to contact key witnesses in the matter with a view to interfere with the case, failure to get positive response from the witnesses  he resorted to unlawful and desperate means to silence the witnesses by hiring hitmen,” he told the court.

According to the Investigating officer, they received information from their sources on April 17 that Olaba had contacted hitmen to eliminate a key witness in the gang rape case.

“The respondent had even paid some money as down payment in commitment to achieve his goal,” the IO told the court.

The court heard he was arrested while in a meeting at Madaraka Estate with the sole purpose of achieving his goal to eliminate the key witness.

The police claim during the last mention of the gang rape case he lied to court that he was in Bungoma to paint a picture to the court that he was unable to travel due to the current lockdown.

“Upon his arrest, two mobile phones were recovered and will be subjected to forensic analysis whose report will be key in investigations,” Otieno told the court.

His lawyer Cliff Oduk opposed the application arguing that no names of the said witnesses had been mentioned and the amount of money that he allegedly paid to the hitman was also not disclosed.

“The respondent has not in any way has interfered with course of justice… who made the report of murder and at what time?” asked the lawyer.

He argued that Olaba was not a flight risk and has always attended court whenever required.

Ochoi however dismissed the defense’s plea saying the issue of lying to the court that he was in Bungoma questions his credibility.

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