Detectives piecing together Justice Odek’s last movements in death probe
Detectives investigating the death of Court of Appeal Judge James Otieno Aggrey Odek were on Tuesday tracing his last movements amid revelations that the closed circuit television (CCTV) at his residential apartment was dysfunctional for the past one week.
There was, however, a clash between the caretaker of Groovehut apartments, where the judge lived, and criminal investigations officers on the state of the CCTV at the time the judge’s body was discovered in his house.
While the caretaker, Mr William Nyandara, told Nation that he had established that the cameras were not working when investigators had asked to review them on Monday, investigators who spoke to Nation on the other hand claimed they had reviewed the CCTV footage “and there was nothing strange.”
Mr Nyandara said the CCTV cameras had developed problems a while back, but he had ordered the manager to have electricians from Nairobi to repair them. He learned on Monday morning that this was not done.
This was when the detectives asked him to produce footage.
“I will have to take up the matter with the manager of the apartments,” Mr Nyandara said.
He spoke to Nation outside the gates of the apartments a day after the body of Justice Odek was found in his house on the second floor of the four-storey building.
The judge’s wife, Ms Anne Odek, and his brother, were present at the apartments and could be seen talking to the caretaker for a moment before they proceeded to Aga Khan Hospital mortuary, where the judge’s body is being preserved.
The body was found on Monday morning following the alarm after he failed to show up at the Kisumu Law Courts for his normal duties.
Prof Odek’s driver, who had tried to reach him in vain, alerted the Kisumu Law Courts staff, who headed to the apartments in the company of the Kisumu Central Police Station OCS.
They accessed his house with the help of the caretaker by breaking into the house.
The judge’s naked body was on his bed and his bed sheets were blood-stained.
According to Nyanza Regional Criminal Investigations Officer James Kipsoi, they had reviewed the CCTV footage and there wasn’t much.
They were now depending on the outcome of the postmortem which, he said, will give further direction to the investigations.
“It’s too early to allege any foul play in the death of the judge. What we know for now is that there were no break-ins and no signs of a struggle in the house. So we have to wait for postmortem to guide any further investigations,” Mr Kipsoi said.
Dr Vincent Makokha, the Nyanza Regional Police Commander, confirmed that they had recorded statements from both the night and day security guards on the judge’s last movements.
He, however, did not disclose details of their findings.
Like Mr Kipsoi, Dr Makokha said the autopsy would shed light on the judge’s death.
“We’re waiting for the postmortem where one of our officers will also be present. So far, the house has been secured as it is still a crime scene,” Dr Makokha said.
Investigators also collected all the judge’s phones, which are still being analysed “for any suspicious calls or messages that might have been uncomfortable,” according to Dr Makokha.
Two meetings are being held by the families in Nairobi and in Kisumu to determine when the postmortem will be done and the burial date.
Meanwhile, the Law Society of Kenya expressed shock at the judge’s death.
“He was always kind, gentle, respectful and admired by his colleagues for his strong belief in the cause of justice. His contribution to the legal profession remains invaluable and his presence will be missed,” LSK president Allen Waiyaki Gichuhi said.