ODM supporter Jola Ngumbao died of gunshot wounds to the chest, court told

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

An ODM supporter who was shot dead during a fracas at the height of a ward by-election in Malindi four years ago, died of gunshot wounds to the chest, a Mombasa court was informed.

Appearing before Justice Anne Ong'injo, Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor said that Jola Ngumbao's body was positively identified by two relatives before he could conduct the postmortem.

“Ngumbao’s body was dressed in blood-stained clothes. External analysis showed there were entry gunshot wounds on the deceased's right side of the chest, which was around one–and–a–half centimetres in diameter,” he said while being guided by State Counsel Bernard Ngiri.

The pathologist said that the bullet exited the body through the left shoulder at the back.

Dr Oduor said he formed the opinion that Ngumbao suffered chest injuries from a gunshot fired from a low-velocity firearm.

The court heard that the postmortem was conducted on October 19, 2019, at Malindi Sub-County Hospital.

During the autopsy, the pathologist observed that the heart, liver, and lungs had been perforated, while the right lung was bruised.

He was testifying at the case where the main suspect, Geoffrey Otieno Okuto, a former aide to Gender Cabinet Secretary Aisha Jumwa, has been charged with the murder.

Initially, he was jointly charged with Ms Jumwa but charges against her were dropped by the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions following her appointment to the Cabinet.

Ms Jumwa was freed after new evidence, reviewed by the State, cleared her of any involvement in the murder incident.

Give their testimonies

Meanwhile, Mr Okuto wants senior party officials who were present during the fracas to appear in court to give their testimonies in person.

He has asked the High Court in Mombasa to direct Dr Alfred Agunga, the former ODM head of the secretariat in Kilifi county, to appear in court and provide his evidence in person.

“The head of the secretariat was the organiser of the meeting that unfortunately led to the death of Jola Ngumbao. His evidence is key, and so is his physical presence. We need him to come to court and take the witness stand,” Okuto’s lawyer Jared Magolo said.

Mr Magolo further argued that Dr Agunga's evidence should be presented in an open court.

Dr Agunga was among the four witnesses who were expected to testify virtually on Wednesday (today) but their evidence was not taken after Mr Magolo raised an objection, asking the court to order his physical presence.

The reconstruction of the shooting incident demonstrated how the bullet struck Ngumbao.

This included determining the general location of Ngumbao and the suspect at the time the bullet was fired, as well as analysing the distance of the cartridge casings to the body and the ejector casing patterns.

The prosecution stated that approximately 20 witnesses are remaining before it concludes its case.