Busia Court Frees Assistant Chief Jailed for 115 Years

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Andrew Odato, the assistant chief for Ong’aroi sub location in Teso South who was slapped with a shocking jail term of 115 years after being indicted for arson mid last year can now breathe a sigh of relief after the same Court released him on Kenya shillings 500,000 bond pending hearing of an appeal tabled before Court.

The administrator who has since been dismissed was first arraigned and charged with arson in June 2016 following an incident where he incited villagers to burn over ten houses belonging to one family in his jurisdiction over claims of witchcraft.

The life-threatening incident of fire happened in the dead night after the assistant chief made inflammatory remarks regarding the death of one village elder who passed away after a short illness that was attributed to black powers sent by the victimised family.

At the time of sentencing last year, Busia principal magistrate Patrick Olengo observed that sentencing the administrator to 115 years was based on pure evidence submitted to the court by the prosecution and defence lawyers.

The 115 years were arrived at after being charged with five counts, with each count carrying 23 years which were to run concurrently. Meaning he was to serve for only 23 years in the cold prisones.

The former administrator has today afternoon been welcomed to his home in Ong’aroi with a low-key celebration after spending almost one year at Korinda GK prison. His release now opens the doors to pursue their appeal for reconsideration of the court’s ruling made last year that attracted the attention of leading media outlets in the country.

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