‘Star’ journo’s estranged wife recounts last chat with him
The family of a Siaya-based journalist who was found dead in the house of a chief inspector of police with whom he was cohabiting has demanded thorough investigation into his death, even as it emerged yesterday that his wife gave birth just a week ago.
Friday, Eric Oloo’s 23-year-old wife Lucy Atieno showed up at his home in Nyasanda village, Ugunja, where she said that they had an 11-day-old baby.
Ms Otieno also said that they were in the process of reconciling and Oloo had hinted at moving back together in February next year.
She said that she met Oloo in 2016 and lived with him in Siaya town until 2017 when they separated shortly after they were blessed with a daughter. She later learned about his relationship with the police officer.
Ms Otieno, whom Oloo’s family said was the journalist’s official wife, had relocated to her mother’s home in Mudhiano.
She said she reunited with Oloo early this year and got pregnant, bearing him a second daughter. Ms Otieno had gone silent after he learnt of her second pregnancy and only started calling her again last month, she said.
She informed him about the child last Monday but he did not respond to her message, she said. She said Oloo called her last Tuesday asking about her delivery and requested to speak with his two-year-old daughter.
“He inquired what we had fed on and told me that he had shopped for our daughter’s Christmas, promising to have a boda boda operator drop the gifts the next morning,” she said.
She claimed she was waiting for the Christmas shopping to be delivered the next morning as promised when she heard the news of Oloo’s death on a local radio station.
“I dropped the baby and rushed out wailing as someone picked the child,” she said at Oloo’s family home.
The journalist co-habited with Ugunja police station-based chief inspector Sabina Kerubo at her rental house. His family was aware of the relationship.
Oloo’s uncle Michael Oyugi Nyagilo claimed the scribe had visited his home early this year in the company of Ms Kerubo.
The police officer hinted at plans to put up a house for the couple, but the journalist was hesitant. Oloo was ill, he said.
Ms Kerubo was arrested on Thursday morning at a chang’aa drinking den moments after the journalist’s body was collected from her house and taken to Ambira hospital mortuary. It has emerged that she visited Oloo’s home before her arrest.
“She was sitting here,” Mr Nyagilo said, pointing at a spot on the ground. “She told us that she had spent the day drinking with friends and went home at about 7pm.”
Ms Kerubo told the family she had gone to bed at about 8pm and was too drunk to know what transpired after that. She woke up to discover an unconscious Oloo, she said.
Neighbours said they heard commotion at the lovers’ home on Wednesday night before a man was seen leaving the house.
Ms Kerubo’s house help said Oloo was injured in a fight with two brothers. One of the brothers had used warm water to clean up his blood.
According to the house help, the brothers went to the house at about 9pm, pulled Oloo out of bed and started beating him up. She said that she heard Oloo screaming and called Ms Kerubo’s daughter to her bedroom. The two went to the living room and saw one of the brothers cleaning wounds on Oloo’s body. However, there were contradictions on Ms Kerubo’s movements on Wednesday.
While Ugunja OCPD Ibrahim Muchuma said that she had been on duty and signed out at 7pm, accounts from various sources indicated that the two lovers had spent the day drinking.
They then retreated to their house where they continue drinking, witnesses said. It is still not clear at what point the two brothers came in and how the fight started. Both brothers were arrested, one in the company of Ms Kerubo.
According to Ugunja DCIO Andrew Nyambachi, the fifth suspect popularly known as ‘daddy’ was arrested at around 6pm at Mutumbu in Yala where he was hiding at the home of his relative. He is being held at Ugunja Police Station. Ms Kerubo’s house help and teen daughter were also picked up by police for questioning.
Family members revealed plans for a post-mortem were underway. They said burial arrangements would begin on Saturday. The body was transferred to Sega Mortuary on the family’s request.
On Thursday, Siaya County Police Commander Francis Kooli directed investigators from the county headquarters to take up the case from Ugunja Police Station to avoid interference by the officer’s colleagues. He promised to get to the root of Oloo’s death. He described the journalist as a friend to the local police family.
“We are shocked by what happened, Oloo has been a very good friend of mine,” he said.
“I have given instructions to the team carry out investigations from a neutral ground where there would be no interference because I do not want conflict of interests,” he added.
He said detectives had made progress and had crucial leads to the journalist’s killing.
Oloo’s friends described him as a jovial and friendly man. He had worked as a correspondent with radio Namlolwe and Nation Media Group.
Ms Kerubo’s colleagues who asked not to be named described her as a brilliant officer who didn’t like getting in trouble with anyone. Some of her colleagues said she loved her drink.
“She loved her work although she seemed to be bogged down by her family issues,” an officer at Ugunja Police Station said.