UoN Student Elisha Otieno was Beaten and Strangled: Police

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University of Nairobi

A Nairobi University student who was found dumped at Central Park in Nairobi was beaten with blunt objects and strangled, a police officer told a court on Thursday.

Corporal Corporal Phillip Bett said the institution’s security guards arrested Elisha Otieno Odeng alias Ras on the night of March 4 and claimed they were taking him to Central Police Station.

Mr Bett said witnesses told police that several guards restrained, beat up and dragged Otieno to the park.

A good Samaritan rescued him and took him to the Intensive Care Unit (ICU) at Kenyatta National Hospital, where he died.

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A postmortem conducted on March 11 at Chiromo Mortuary, by pathologist Peter Ndegwa, showed the cause of death was multiple injuries because of blunt force trauma and neck compression due to ligature strangulation.

Before Milimani Resident Magistrate David Ndungi, Corporal Bett sought to detain the prime suspect, Mr Spencer Kipkorir Kosgey, for 10 days so as to complete investigations.

Detectives from Kilimani Police Station arrested Mr Kosgey, a Lavington Security supervisor, on Wednesday evening over the student’s murder.

In the application for his detention, officer Bett said that if released, the suspect will interfere with witnesses.

He noted that witnesses who have testified so far said the security guard was involved in the crime.

Corporal Bett said Otieno’s brother Brighton Tonny reported the death at Central Police Station in Nairobi at 3pm on March 8, vide OB No.83/03/2020

Mr Tonny said his brother was admitted at KNH after being beaten, strangled and dumped at the park along Nyerere Road.

He said he received the information by phone, from a person whose identity police said they could not reveal.

“Due to this incident there has been a palpable tension within the university’s main campus, which erupted into riots on March 9, when the security department’s head office and a prefabricated hostel was burnt down. The suspect’s personal security cannot be guaranteed at this point,” Mr Bett said.

The investigating officer added that the suspect’s conduct before his arrest put his character into question because he failed to respond to police summons by phone.

Further, Mr Bett told the court, Mr Kosgey’s employers could not verify his location on the night of March 10, when he was supposed to be on duty at the university, and that he went incommunicado.

“He proved to be a flight risk and cannot be granted police cash bail,” he said, adding they were yet to record statements from some witnesses.

Detectives are also in pursuit of accomplices so they intend to conduct an identification parade.

“Being that the associates of the suspect are still at large and witnesses to the arrest and beating are yet to participate in an identification parade, should he be released before completion of investigations there is the likelihood that they can interfere with the investigations,” stated the officer.

Police also want to forward the suspect’s finger prints and profile to the criminal records department of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations to obtain any relevant information

They will also check CCTV footage from the university, Nyerere Road and Central Park.

The suspect’s lawyer Felix Kiprono opposed the application for his detention, saying police should have completed investigations before arresting him.

“The custody should be on exceptional circumstances. The security agencies should not use the courts as a holding ground of suspects or as an avenue to seek custody when they had time to investigate and charge him,” he said.

The court will issue its ruling on Friday.

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