Ruth Odinga, Fred Outa explain why they went into hiding

Kisumu Senator Fred Outa and former Deputy Governor Ruth Odinga say they went into hiding because Nyanza Regional Coordinator Wilson Njega had issued a “political directive” against them.

On Monday, the two, who had went underground for days, re-appeared after Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko ordered their “immediate prosecution.”

They said they emerged from their hiding after police swirled around them for days.

SH500,000

Ms Odinga, sister of National Super Alliance leader Raila Odinga, and Mr Outa are accused of inciting mobs to attack electoral commission officials in Kisumu last week.

Mr Tobiko had directed that they be charged at the Kericho Law Courts on Monday.

However, they chose to appear before a Kisumu court where Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’arng’ar released them on Sh500,000 personal bond each.

Mr Ng’arng’ar ordered Ms Odinga and Mr Outa to appear before the police on Tuesday as the officers investigate their case.

Moments after they secured their freedom, Mr Outa who wore a denim shirt, sleeves rolled back, said Mr Njega’s order for their arrest was not grounded in law.

“We decided to present ourselves before the court, this time, because we thought the right process had been followed to demand for our arrest,” he said.

TENTS

This came after Kisumu county criminal investigations chief wrote to Mr Tobiko on October 19 and presented his investigation file on the two leaders.

“We were just here in Kisumu, and were watching from a distance how things were unfolding. We even passed outside the court several times,” said Mr Outa.

Last week on Tuesday, a mob attacked officials preparing for a training workshop for IEBC ahead of the repeat election.

The youths allegedly injured Ms Diana Odhiambo, an official of an outside catering firm, before tearing down the tents and breaking plastic chairs.

Ms Odhiambo and IEBC officials were later rescued by police.

CHAIRS

Moments later, Ms Odinga and Mr Outa attempted to secure an anticipatory bail at the High Court through their lawyer but Justice Manjanja declined, arguing that they must present themselves in court.

On Monday, Ms Odinga and Mr Outa faced five charge, including entering in an electoral centre without authority, obstructing an election officer from executing lawful duties and malicious damage of property. 

Appearing before Chief Magistrate Julius Ng’arng’ar, the duo were accused of stealing 94 plastic chairs, 11 tent stands valued at Sh92,000.

Jointly with others not before the court, they were also charged with entering an area designated for electoral purposes without authority.

Mr Outa was independently charged with incitement to violence.

SUPPORTERS

“Without lawful excuse Mr Outa uttered words ‘demolish and destroy these IEBC equipment and tent’, which are desirable to destroy the tents and other equipment being used by the commission and owned by Tausi Designs and Promotions Limited,” said Mr Ng’arng’ar.

The former deputy governor was clad in a pink blouse and a pair of black checked trousers.

She also had a scarf around her neck and firmly clutched at her maroon handbag.

Inside the court, the officers were ready to pounce on the politicians should the ruling go against them.

Mr Outa’s and Ms Odinga’s supporters also milled around the court, threatening to protect their leaders should the court rule against them.

SURETY

The court was full, with Governor Anyang’ Nyong’o, his Deputy Mathews Owili and Kisumu Central MP Fred Ouda present in a show of solidarity with the accused.

Also present was Kondele Ward Representative Joachim Oketch, who faced similar charges at Kericho Law Courts.

The two leaders were released on a Sh500, 000 personal bond but without surety.

“There is no need for surety, because they are known and are required to follow the law,” said Mr Ng’arng’ar.

Mr Ng’arng’ar also ordered that the duo present themselves before the Directorate of Criminal Investigations on October 24 to kick start investigations.

The case is to be heard on November 13.

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