CS Jumwa's former aide wants murder charge reviewed

Geoffrey Otieno Okuto Aisha Jumwa court murder case

Mr Geoffrey Otieno Okuto, the former bodyguard of Gender and Public Service Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa. 

Photo credit: Wachira Mwangi | Nation Media Group

The prosecution of Geoffrey Otieno Okuto over the 2019 murder of an Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) supporter in Kilifi County is hanging in the balance after it emerged that the defence is seeking a review of the charge.

The Nation understands that defence lawyers led by Mr Danstan Omari have written a letter seeking a review of the charge against Mr Okuto.

"We are still pursuing the letter. But we can take a hearing date,” Mr Okuto's lawyer Jared Magolo told Mombasa High Court Judge Ann Ong’injo on Wednesday.

State lawyer Bernard Ngiri said the State had lined up 25 witnesses to continue with the case, and asked the court to set a hearing date.

"I have spoken to the officer who is investigating the case and he has indicated that he has 25 witnesses," he said.

"We can set a hearing date. We can inform the court if there is any new development," said Mr Ngiri.

Last month, the court was told that witnesses in the case were not interested after the State dropped murder charges against Gender and Public Service Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa, who had been jointly charged with Mr Okuto.

The court heard that after the charges against Ms Jumwa were dropped, the witnesses said they were not interested in going to court to give evidence.

Mr Okuto and Ms Jumwa were initially charged together for the killing of Jola Ngumbao in 2019, but the charges against the CS were dropped right after she was appointed to the post. Ms Jumwa was released after new evidence reviewed by the State cleared her of any involvement in the murder.

The prosecutor told the court at the time that the investigating officer in the case was struggling to bond the witnesses who had indicated that they no longer wanted to be part of the case.

The court was told that the prosecution had lined up the remaining 25 witnesses to prove its case against Okuto.

So far, only three witnesses have testified in the case.

The court has expressed concern at the way the case has dragged on in court over the past three years.

The case has stalled since the state dropped charges against Ms Jumwa.

However, Ms Jumwa could still be charged with the same offence in the future.

Mr Okuto has yet to face any witnesses since he re-argued the murder charge.

The case will be heard from October 17.