Court suspends arrest warrant against Outa, Odinga

Fred Outa and Ruth Odinga

A magistrate’s court in Kisumu has now lifted the arrest warrant that had been issued against former deputy governor Ruth Odinga and Senator Fred Outa.

The warrant was issued on Monday after the duo failed to appear in court for the hearing of a case in which they have been accused of training of Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) officials last month.

Yesterday, lawyers representing the duo pleaded that both Ruth and Outa failed to appear on Monday because of circumstances beyond their control.

In an application to lift seeking to have the warrant lifted, lawyer Geoffrey Yogo told the court that Outa had missed a flight while Odinga had been bedridden.

“They missed not because of disobedience but because of unavoidable circumstances,” said Yogo.

He noted that Odinga was admitted at a hospital on Sunday after she fell ill and was only discharged yesterday in the morning.

Last month, the duo engaged the police in a cat and mouse game after the police announced that they were looking for them and only presented themselves voluntarily when Director of Public prosecutions ordered for their arrest.

The duo has been charged with a number of counts with Odinga facing four counts while Outa has been charged with five counts.

In the first count, the duo has been accused of entering an electoral area designated by the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) without authority.

They have also been accused of stealing 94 plastic chairs, 11 tent stands all valued at Sh92,000 as well as obstructing an election official from executing lawful duties, contrary to Section (13h) of the Election Offences Act. Charges they both deny.

Following their denial, the court had released them on a personal bond of Sh500, 000 and was expected to defend themselves against the allegations on Monday.

Yesterday however, both principal magistrate Julius Nga’r Nga’r and the prosecution accepted their pleas for not attending the court proceedings with the judge sending a stern warning to the two against missing future proceedings.

“I consider the application to lift the warrant, and next time you take these matters seriously, “said Ng’ar Ng’ar.

The case will be mentioned on November 26.

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