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Trio in court for marrying off a minor


The case in which three people, who include a chief and Bishop, are facing charges of marrying off a 15-year-old minor have been adjourned to a later date after prosecution counsel sort time to conclude investigations.


 The prosecution asked the court to grant the investigation team to liaise with other agencies for documentation of holistic evidence before presenting the case in court.


During a pre-trial proceeding the matter involving Thomas Mpatai, Esupatet Seketeti and Joseph Lekurrukule Mpatai was adjourned to July 27, 2022 when it will be mentioned for completion of pretrial.


The accused who were earlier arraigned in court last month on June 23 had denied a charge of failing to protect the girl against harmful cultural rite namely, early marriage which happened on diverse dates in the month of June 2022.


Mpatai who is also chief of Olorika location and Thomas, Bishop of Holiness Church at Iltilal also had denied another count of willfully denying the girl right to live with and be cared by her grandmother by taking her away from their homestead at Lolmarorok village on June 20, 2022.


Seketeti who is the grandmother and the guardian of the girl had denied count of failing to protect the minor from early marriage by marrying her off to Joshua Dokolo on June 20, 2022 at Iltilal village.


The trio were arrested on June 22 by local administration together with officers from departments of children and Education after getting information that the girl was married off with full knowledge of the area chief.


Resident Magistrate Samuel Ndungu pointed out that the matter affects the minor’s life and it is the duty of the court to supremely uphold best interest of the child and hence directed the prosecution to have completed collection of evidence it will rely on by July 27.


The minor has been placed at local children Rescue Centre within Loitoktok.


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