Court acquits Samburu chief of defilement charges

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A Maralal Court on Thursday acquitted a chief from Samburu County of allegations of defiling a 15-year-old girl, due to lack of sufficient evidence to prove the charges.

Keward Lekalkuli had been accused of defiling the minor on diverse dates between June 6th, 2015 and July 8th, 2015 at Remoti village in Samburu East Sub County, aiding and abetting Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) on her in the first and second counts of offences respectively.

He also faced charges of committing an indecent act with a child contrary to Section (11) (1) of the Sexual Offences Act No.3 of 2006 in the alternative charge.

Making the ruling, Resident Magistrate Abraham Gachie, said the prosecution was unable to prove the charges against Lekalkuli in both counts and alternative charges to the standards required in law.

The minor allegedly testified in court that she agreed to be married off to the accused chief whom she loved as her husband and they had sex after she was newly married.

According to the minor’s step brother, Kinyua Lengashala, who testified in court, the girl was born in 1994, and being an adult she had undergone all Samburu cultural rites including female circumcision in 2013, two years prior to her marriage with the accused.

Even though medical age assessment report showed the complainant was aged 15 years, Magistrate Gachie noted that it was difficult to ascertain her true age after the prosecution failed to prove it as per the threshold of the law.

The court, therefore, concluded that the accused person is not guilty of all the counts of charges pressed against him,  pursuant to the provisions of Section 215 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

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Story By Elizabeth Asasha
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