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Witness: Main murder suspect Jacktone Odhiambo and late Chiloba were lovers

A witness in the murder of LGBTQ activist Edwin Chiloba has told an Eldoret court the deceased was in a romantic relationship with Jacktone Odhiambo, the main suspect in the murder trial.

Testifying before magistrate Reuben Nyakundi, a witness, who applied to the court not to be identified by the media, told the court Mr Chiloba had confirmed to her that he was in an intimate relationship with Mr Odhiambo.

The 23-year-old woman told the court she was a close friend of Chiloba, who was also her classmate at the University of Eldoret where they both studied fashion and design.

Mr Odhiambo is accused of killing Chiloba on January 3, 2023, at Noble Breeze Apartment in Chebisaas, Moiben Sub-county.

Chiloba’s decomposing body was found in a metal box along the Kipkenyo-Kaptinga road in Kapseret Sub-county in Uasin Gishu County.

A postmortem by government pathologist Johansen Oduor found that Chiloba died of asphyxia (lack of oxygen).

The anonymous witness told the court she used to live in the same flat with Chiloba and they often visited each other for group discussions and class assignments, among other things that brought them together as students.

“It is true we were close friends and often visited each other as students and friends on the same campus,” she told the court.

In her testimony, she told the court that Chiloba lived on the upper floor of the Canan B apartments, about two kilometres from her university.

She told the court that the accused was a frequent visitor to Chiloba’s house.

“For a long time, I knew them as general friends. But later Chiloba told me that they were having an affair,” she told the court.

Two other witnesses, including photographer Dennis Ochieng and Patricia Nyambura, also testified in the case.

They were the last people seen with Mr Odhiambo and Chiloba at the Tamasha club in Eldoret on the eve of the New Year.

The witnesses told the court that both the prime suspect and the deceased were in high spirits at Tamasha Club during the New Year celebrations, dancing together in a jovial mood.

According to witnesses, the duo left the club in a taxi at dawn after a night of fun.

The trial will continue on November 20 and 22.

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