The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji , on the 15th of October 2020 dropped charges against Father Richard Oduor, of Siaya, who had been accused of knowingly spreading COVID-19.
Father Oduor had failed to observe the 14-day self-quarantine rule which had been put in place by the government via the Ministry of Health on all returnees and visitors as a measure against Covid19.
Father Richard being a Rome-based priest had travelled into the country from Italy in March 10th. Oduor is said to have stayed in Utawala , Nairobi and later travelled to Ugunja ,Siaya County on the 14th of March for a funeral and mass service ,after which he fell ill on his return to Nairobi.
After days of being traced due to public raised concerns, the Siaya Priest was directed on a self-quarantine at Assisi House on Adams Arcade which is under The Franciscan Sisters of St Josephs.
After recovery, Father Oduor was arraigned at Milimani Law Court ,where he was detained in custody for a few days at Kileleshwa Police Station pending investigations. He was later released on a 500K ksh bond after deniying charges of violating the Public Health Act.
Today, the DPP via State Counsel James Machirah, told Senior Principal Magistrate of the Milimani Law Court, Martha Nanzushi that no witnesses had appeared in court to testify against the priest despite the case having to have come up 9 times.
The cases’ last adjournment had also already been granted.
According to the DPP, the Kilimani Criminal Investigation Officer had failed to produce witnesses.
The case was withdrawn against the priest since it could not hold. This is in accordance with the Penal Code Section 87 (a).