• Justice Wananda ordered the DCI officers in Nandi East to effect the arrest warrant and take the suspect to court.
• State Counsel Emmah Ngok said the accused was aware of the bond terms under which he was released but had defied them, hence, the need for a warrant of arrest.
The High Court in Eldoret has issued a warrant of arrest against a prime suspect in the 2018 murder of the father to President William Ruto's press secretary Emmanuel Tallam.
The warrant was issued after the suspect, Silas Too, failed to appear in court for the hearing of the murder case in which he is charged alongside two other suspects, including his mother.
State Counsel Emmah Ngok informed Justice Robert Wananda the suspect, who is out on bond, had failed to appear in court twice without giving reasons.
“I ask the court to issue a warrant of arrest against the suspect because he has not appeared in court two consecutive times without any explanation,” Ngok said.
Justice Wananda ordered DCI officers in Nandi East to effect the arrest warrant and bring the suspect before the court.
Ngok said the accused was aware of the bond terms under which he was released but had defied the same, hence the need for a warrant of arrest.
Lucy Ndambuki, the lawyer representing the accused, told the court she had been unable to trace the suspect who had switched off his mobile phones.
"I have been trying to call my client on his two mobile phones but he cannot be reached. It's in order for the warrant of arrest to be issued so that he is brought to court,” Ndambuki said.
The suspect is charged alongside his mother, Dorcas Chelagat, and Hillary Korir for the murder of businessman Benjamin Koech.
All the suspects are out on Sh200,000 bond each with surety of similar amount.
They have pleaded not guilty.
A motive has not been established.
They are accused of allegedly committing the offence on April 14, 2018, at Chetingting village in Nandi East, Nandi county.
The deceased, Benjamin Koech, then age 85, was a prominent businessman at Simbi market in Nandi Hills.
The court was told Tallam's father went missing on April 14, 2018, and his body was later found in River Kipsigei in the county.
According to court documents, the suspects jointly with others not before the court attacked Koech as he was heading home. A postmortem revealed he was hit with a blunt object.
Justice Wananda is hearing the case. He ordered the first accused person, Dorcas Chelagat, who also failed to turn up in court citing health issues, to bring proper medical records from a doctor.
They are to be presented when the matter comes up for ruling in July.
The state counsel had told the court Chelegat had sent her an undated report from a public hospital signed by a medical doctor but the report was not stamped to prove it was genuine.
“The medical report she sent does not show when the accused person was admitted and discharged from hospital. The document has been signed but not stamped as required," Ngok said.
The deceased's widow, Monicah Koech, had told the court her husband's trousers, safari boots and a shirt were recovered from Chelagat's house.
The widow said her husband had mentioned to her that Chelagat had been a long-time customer of his shop.
“I was shocked and could not believe it. I wondered what could have happened leading to the killing of my husband,” she said..
“When he delayed to arrive home that day, I tried to call his mobile phone but it was off. I got worried because it was unusual for his phone to be switched off," she said.
Witness Peter Kiplimo recounted how they searched for the deceased and with the help of the police retrieved the body from the river.
The case will come up again on July 10.
(Edited by V. Graham)