Geoffrey Okuto Otieno, the man arrested alongside controversial Malindi MP Aisha Jumwa, is not new to incidents involving guns.
Over the years, Mr Otieno — a dark, well-built fellow who was initially thought to be a police bodyguard but later identified as a civilian — has found himself in trouble with the law over incidents involving what police call “misuse” of firearms.
In the latest incident that occurred on Tuesday, Mr Otieno, while in the company of Ms Jumwa, is alleged to have stormed the home of the ODM aspirant for the Ganda civic seat in Malindi, Mr Reuben Katana, who was, according to a police bulletin, meeting his agents to finalise plans for the by-election held on Thursday.
The ensuing commotion saw one person shot dead. It was not the first time Mr Otieno was being involved in a gun drama.
Previously described by police in Nairobi as a “dangerous man”, Mr Otieno was in April 2017 involved in another incident in Mathare constituency during the ODM primaries ahead of that year’s General Election.
Then, Mr Otieno, who was vying for the party’s ticket to contest the Hospital Ward civic seat, was arrested and charged at a Nairobi court for misuse of a firearm.
According to police reports, he was arrested after he was reported to have fired at his opponent’s supporters during the nomination campaigns.
He was charged with firing live ammunition in a manner likely to cause terror among the public.
The charge sheet alleged that he went armed with a pistol at Mathare 4B Area on April 23 that year.
According to police, two other aspirants for the Hospital ward seat — Seff Kibira and Kennedy Ooko — had finished addressing supporters at Kosovo and Mucedo when Mr Otieno blocked them, sparking a confrontation.
Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi released him on a bond of Sh50,000 or a cash bail of Sh30,000, but the case was later dropped and Mr Otieno acquitted after the complainants failed to show up to give evidence in court.
In the Tuesday confrontation, Mr Katana’s uncle was shot dead with police investigating Mr Otieno’s role in the shooting.
In one of the video clips seen by Sunday Nation, Mr Otieno is clad in a white shirt, a pair of shorts and a blue cap.
According to police reports captured in an affidavit filed in court, Mr Otieno, in the company of Ms Jumwa and others, allegedly fired some shots and in the process the crowd started shouting that Mr Gumbao Jola, the MCA-elect’s uncle, had been shot.
On Thursday, after spending two nights at the Port Police Station in Mombasa, Ms Jumwa and Mr Otieno were each released on Sh500,000 cash bail with a Sh1 million alternative.
In the Ganda incident, police confiscated Mr Otieno’s firearm with a view to authenticating its certificate.
The man from Karachuonyo, Homa Bay County, who is known as “Jeff” by those close to him, is known to have ties with various politicians.
The Sunday Nation has learnt that Mr Otieno was once attached to former Nairobi Governor Evans Kidero.
Records from the Kenya Law indicate that he was one among 13 persons who swore an affidavit supporting Dr Kidero’s victory in the 2013 Nairobi gubernatorial election.
He later parted ways with Dr Kidero in early 2017 to launch his own political career. However, he lost at the party primaries for the ward seat.
Mr Otieno is said to have first met Ms Jumwa during the ODM 10-year anniversary celebrations held in Kisumu in 2016.
He later became a confidant of the MP after the 2017 General Election, accompanying her to various political rallies across the country.
Those close to Ms Jumwa however dispute reports that he is the MP’s official bodyguard. “Mama (Ms Jumwa) has her official bodyguard and drivers, but the guy (Otieno) drives her around more often. They have been together for long now,” said a source from Malindi, Kilifi County.
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