A member of the Busia County Assembly found himself in the midst of a legal storm as he appeared before the Busia Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti, facing charges of defiling a 14-year-old girl.
According to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP), Carlbenz Okonya, who represents Bunyala West in the County Assembly, entered a plea of not guilty to the charges during the court proceedings.
They made a special request to defer the bail and bond hearing for a period of 14 days. The delay would allow the Witness Protection Agency to assess the situation and potentially provide protection for the victim and her family due to concerns over their safety.
"The prosecution, through Faith Kaberia and Abraham Mumo, made an application to oppose bail and bond and requested that the bail and bond hearing be deferred for 14 days to allow the witness protection agency to assess and place the victim and her family under protection," the statement by ODPP read in part.
The court proceedings, which commenced on Tuesday, September 26, will continue, with a ruling on the prosecution's application expected on September 28, 2023. Until that time, Okonya will remain in custody.
"Carlbenz Okonya, the Bunyala West Member of the County Assembly, pleaded not guilty to the charges and will remain in custody pending a ruling on the prosecution application to be delivered on 28/9/2023," the ODPP stated.