A chief who sustained head injuries as he attempted to separate two warring political camps in Ugunja was Friday arraigned before a Siaya court charged with assault and causing bodily harm
East Uholo location chief, Wilfred Anyiko Otieno was charged alongside Joseph Olunga and George Damar for allegedly committing the offence on July 11 this year at Sigomere trading centre causing bodily harm to one Kevin Omondi.
The trio accused denied the charges before Siaya resident magistrate, Lester Simiyu.
During the plea taking, efforts by the prosecution to oppose the transfer of the case to Ukwala court hit a snag after Magistrate Simiyu ruled that Siaya court had no jurisdiction to handle issues emanating from Ugenya and Ugunja sub counties.
Magistrate Simiyu ordered the state, through the office of the director of public prosecutions to apply to the High Court to have the case transferred to Ukwala Law courts or withdraw the charge and file it in Ukwala which has jurisdiction.
She gave the prosecution 14 days to do so and ordered that chief Anyiko and his co- accused be released on a Sh30,000 bond and a surety of a similar amount or an alternative of a cash bail of Sh20,000 each.
Meanwhile, the residents and a section of leaders in Sigomere have termed the chief’s arrest and subsequent arraignment in a Siaya court as harassment of the administrator for standing firm against election violence in his area of jurisdiction.
Led by Sigomere ward member of the County Assembly, Engineer Eric Odawa and human rights activist, Fredrick Odhiambo Ojiro, the residents accused senior police officers and national administration officials in Ugunja of being compromised by a senior politician in the area to frustrate junior administrators who do not want to dance to his whims.
Odawa called for the immediate transfer of the police officers based at Sigomere police station, adding that they could not be trusted to maintain law and order, having already taken sides in local politics.
He lamented that people perceived to be opposed to the political powers that be in Ugunja constituency are not getting services at the Sigomere police station, adding that several people who have been assaulted and maimed by goons affiliated to an aspiring Member of the County Assembly and a parliamentarian were dejected as their assailants were walking scot free despite positive identification.
Ojiro called on the government and the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission to urgently institute independent inquiry into the matter and take action against partisan law enforcement officers lest violence spreads to other parts of the constituency.
Last week, chief Anyiko escaped death by a whisker when he tried to talk rival camps to stop violence only for assailants to turn on him and cut his head using a machete.