Catholic priest in coronavirus case detained for two more days
The Directorate of Criminal Investigations on Tuesday obtained court orders to detain Rome based Catholic Priest Richard Onyango Oduor at Kilimani Police Station for two days pending investigations.
Corporal John Likuru Mmasi of Kilimani DCI offices had sought five days custodial orders to record statements of the people Fr. Oduor got in contact with, and the Immigration department officials.
Mmasi said investigators were unable to obtain most of the information they are looking for during the Easter holidays. The state intends to charge Oduor with spreading Covid-19.
In an affidavit filed before Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Nanzushi at the Milimani law courts, the detective said releasing Oduor on bail will jeorpadise the ongoing investigations by interfering with witnesses who are his juniors in Catholic hierarchy.
“Being that the associates and parishioners of (Oduor) are still at large and witnesses to his movement and interactions are yet to record statements, there is likelihood that he can interfere with the investigations,” Mmasi said.
Mmasi said key areas of investigations including obtaining flight manifest of Oduor’s flight from Rome to Nairobi have not been done.
Other key areas include establishing immigration status of the suspect, statements from the guest house in Kisumu where he slept on March 13, and statements of several priests and nuns at the Utawala and Ukwala Parishes where Oduor spent several nights before he was admitted in Mbangati before transfer to KNH.
Mmasi also said the medical doctor who attended to Oduor at the Nairobi Clinic along Eastern By-pass has also not recorded statement with DCI.
Oduor’s lawyers however opposed the application. They said the DCI has not tabled anything before the court to prove the claims that he could interfere with the investigations.
They said Nairobi is under lockdown and no one can leave the city in the next five days – hinting that Oduor is unable to go to Kisumu and Siaya where most of those wanted to record statements are.
Nanzushi allowed the DCI to hold Fr. Oduor for two days and present him before the court on Thursday.
Oduor arrived in the country on March 12 from Rome in Italy and stayed at the Utawala Catholic Parish in Nairobi until March 13 when he left Nairobi for Kisumu using public means.
He checked into a guest house in Milimani area of Kisumu town before proceeding to Ugenya in Siaya County the next day, and later to his parents’ home in Ambira village by public means.
Oduor spent two nights at the Sega Parish within the county before boarding a bus to Kisumu International Airport where he took a flight to Nairobi on March 16.
He proceeded to Utawala Parish where he stayed until March 20 when he went to a clinic along Eastern Bypass where he was referred to Mbagathi Hospital.
At Mbagathi, he was transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital Infectious Diseases Unit and admitted. The next day he tested positive for Covid-19 and was isolated and put under medication.
Mmasi said doctors did two separate tests on April 4 and 7 and he tested negative in both and was subsequently discharged from the hospital.
Oduor was picked up at KNH on April 9 and the DCI has already obtained his medical reports from the hospital KNH.