Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Former Legislature, Hon. Ochilo Ayacko(Rongo) wins a libel case

Hon Ochillo Ayacko (2nd L) with President Kibaki as Sports minister
Two journalists have been found guilty by a Migori law court for defaming a former Rongo legislator.

Kisumu City based freelance scribes, Jeff Otieno and Leo Odera Omolo, penname Arrum Tidi were charged alongside a politician Philip Mkabong'o and a high school principal Kaunda Ogweno, with printing, writing and publishing defamatory matters concerning former sports minister Hon. Ochillo Ayacko.

The libelous articles were posted by the journalists on a website,, between 15th and 24th of August last year.

The first article: Amorous MP caught red handed with somebody's wife in bed was posted on 15th by Leo Odera, 73, who writes for Citizen Weekly and contributes to several websites. Mr. Odera has reported since 1957 for the Standard Group, Nation Media Group and the BBC before retiring.

Jeff Otieno tried to extort money from Hon. Ayacko before going online on 17th of with the second article: New information emerges on MP caught in the act with somebody's wife. the article read in part: the youthful MP from the larger southern Nyanza district, who is also a lawyer by profession, escaped the wrath of enraged villagers...when he was caught in the wee hours of the night making love to a woman"

The last article was a rejoinder by Leo Odera on 24the where he circulated a personal letter by the principal Mr. Kaunda.

Passing the judgment on Monday 27th last month the senior Principal Magistrate Ezra Awino of Migori law courts acquitted Mr. Kaunda because the letter was sealed and not intended for libel.

Philip Makabong'o was fined Ksh. 50,000 or 6 months imprisonment for spreading the articles during a funeral.

The journalist, Jeff Otieno was fined Ksh. 50,000 or six months imprisonment while Leo Odera was fined Ksh. 80,000 or a year imprisonment.

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