Romantic Migori trip that killed University student
On September 20, 2014, Janet Awuor who was a student at Maasai Mara University, travelled to Migori to see her boyfriend Enock Apele Akoko where she spent the night at a hotel with him.
Two days later, on September 22 the caretaker at the hotel – Highway Complex – Ms Beatrice Akoth Amimo was confronted by a foul smell from the room where the deceased and her boyfriend had stayed.
Ms. Amimo was on her routine morning duties to confirm which rooms were booked and those which were not.
She thought the dustbins were full but when she checked they were not. On reaching the room that Akoko had booked, the foul smell became stronger.
She also noticed flies. She immediately called her colleague Judith Adhiambo Otieno who was doing some cleaning. They took a duplicate key and opened the room where they found a lady’s shoes and a bag on the table and they called a watchman to the scene.
The watchman told them there was a body in the room after gaining entry. They called the hotel’s owner who informed the police. Awuor’s body was found in a decomposing state and half naked on bed.
When the police came later in the day, they recovered a black leather bag, a syringe and a bottle of what looked like quinine.
The black bag contained Ms. Awuor’s identity card and bus tickets showing the deceased had paid Sh700 to travel from Narok to Migori.
Police also found a tissue paper written “Pastor Akoko, Migori SDA Central Church. The police took the body and beddings. Pastor Moses Akoko Dudi was Mr. Akoko’s father.
Pathologist Dr. Jared Ndege conducted a post mortem on the body of the deceased at Migori District Hospital. He established that on the external appearance of the body, there was a penetrative wound on the right anterior side of the neck.
On dissection of the body, the deceased had blood in the chest cavity resulting from a penetrative wound running oblique into the right lung cavity causing bleeding into the lung.
He also noted that the uterus on dissection had pus in the ovaries and tubes. He certified the cause of death as severe bleeding in the chest cavity caused by a penetrating lung injury.
Mr. Akoko had stabbed her severally with the syringe.
Mr. Akoko was on October 22, 2014, charged at Migori High court with murdering Ms. Awuor between the night of 19th and 20th September 2014 at Highway Complex Lodge in Migori Township within Migori County contrary to section 203 of the penal code as read with section 204 of the same code.
The accused denied the charges and the prosecution called 10 witnesses while the accused elected to give sworn testimony in his defence.
Among the witnesses is the hotel’s staffer who booked him when he went to the hotel on September 19, 2014 and who later identified him at the Migori Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) offices after he was arrested.
The witness told the court that she had a brief encounter with Mr. Akoko every morning as he paid Sh600 every day to book the room three times and the room was reserved for him only during the period.
But Mr. Akoko told Justice David Manjanja that although he knew the hotel well, he had never set foot there, let alone spending a night there.
The judge later concluded that Mr. Akoko was the only person with exclusive control of room (228) where the deceased’s decomposing body was found.
“While this court is left to speculate on the motive of his act, under section 9(3) of the Penal Code the lack of a motive is not necessary to prove murder though it may be useful in piecing all the circumstantial evidence together,” he said.
“Having reviewed all the evidence, I am satisfied that all the evidence inextricably points to the accused.”
The judge said there could be no clearer evidence of malice aforethought than piercing the deceased’s neck with a sharp instrument, likely the needles found in the room and taken to court as exhibits, penetrating into the lungs causing her to bleed in the chest cavity.
“Such an injury could only be inflicted with an intention to cause the death of or to do grievous harm to any person, whether that person is the person actually killed or not,” he stated and convicted Mr. Akoko as charged.