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We are just friends, SGR attendant says of ‘husband’ charged with assaulting her

A man charged within assaulting his “wife” had bitter exchanges with the woman’s father in court as the father disputed his daughter’s marriage to the suspect.

Ferdinand Atandi was charged with assaulting Jackline Wanjugu, a Standard Gauge Railway station attendant, and causing her bodily injuries.

He is said to have snatched her phone immediately she arrived from work and forced her to disclose her pin before he started raining blows on her while armed with a knife. He later pushed her to bed threatening to kill her.

She allegedly disclosed the same after she started nose bleeding and sought help through Facebook while Atandi was hiding in bathroom.

But Atandi denied the charges before chief magistrate Heston Nyaga and claimed Jackline was his wife and the incident was a domestic issue.

But Jackline’s father Daniel Gathuma said he has no idea that his daughter was married to the suspect.

Gathuma told the magistrate that on January 13, he received a phone call at 5am from a woman who informed him that his daughter’s life was in danger following a communication she had with her on Facebook.

ABUSIVE BOYFRIEND

He was informed that Atandi allegedly wanted to kill Jackline. Gathuma claimed he drove from Utawala to Tassia in 15 minutes to rescue his daughter from an “abusive boyfriend”.

He claimed Atandi fled through a kitchen window after he knocked on the door but left a knife in the kitchen sink.

Gathuma maintained that he has been sending his daughter money to pay rent but Atandi said he lives with her at his rented house in Tassia, Embakasi in Nairobi.

The father added that he was not aware of the house rent arrangement as he has been sending his daughter Sh18,000 for rent every month.

Jackline claimed they were “just friends” and have been cohabiting and cost sharing the rent. Nyaga caused amusement in court after asking Gathuma whether Atandi had paid bride price.

“They are ‘just friends’ as I have not received any bride price from Atandi. They have been cohabiting and Atandi has only a few belongings like clothes in the house,” Gathuma said.

The two have lived together for 10 months and Jackline wanted a restrictive order to restrain Atandi from accessing the house because she fears for her life. Atandi, however, disputed this and said it was not logical since his household items were still in the house.

The issue degenerated into an argument between Atandi and Gathuma prompting Nyaga to summon the officer investigating the matter to shed light by establishing who actually owns the house between the two, before he could set bond terms and issue any restraining orders as sought by Jackline.