Kisumu Chief Magistrate Godfrey Hillary Oduor was on Thursday, December 17 found dead in the Nairobi house of his girlfriend.
The magistrate’s body was discovered by his partner, Njoki Muhia, who returned to her Riverbank Estate-Phase 2 house in South B from work at 6:30pm.
“On arrival, Njoki found her house closed from [the] inside, and she tried to peep through the bedroom door. Upon checking, she saw her boyfriend namely Godfrey Hillary Oduor, whom she claims to be a chief magistrate at the Kisumu Law Courts, totally asleep but emitting foam on his mouth,” says a police report filed at the Industrial Area Police Station on Thursday, December 17.
Njoki told police that Oduor moved in with her in September 2020 after his house in South C, Nairobi was “closed due to rent arrears”.
Upon finding Oduor foaming at the mouth on Thursday, Njoki filed a report at Hazina police post. The matter was booked under the OB Number 19/17/12/2020
Police, thereafter, rushed to the scene, broke down Njoki’s door and moved Oduor’s body to City Mortuary.
Authorities said the magistrate’s body “had no physical injuries”.
The matter is still under investigation.
Chief Magistrate Oduor, who had initially been stationed in Limuru, was transferred to Nakuru before being redeployed to Kisumu.
In July 2015, while serving in Limuru, Oduor drew mass criticism after he acquitted Nairobi preacher, James Maina Ng’ang’a, who had been accused of causing a woman’s death by dangerous driving.
While acquitting Ng’ang’a, Oduor said the prosecution witnesses, presented to the court by the police, failed to place Ng’ang’a at the scene of the accident, and therefore it could not be proved that he was driving the Range Rover that killed the victim, Mercy Njeri.
Maraga’s condolence message
Following news of Oduor’s death, outgoing Chief Justice David Maraga eulogised the late magistrate as a long-serving servant of the Judiciary.
“It is with sadness that I have received the news of the death of one of our judicial officers, Chief Magistrate Hon Godfrey Oduor,” Maraga said in a statement on Friday, December 18.
“On behalf of the Judicial Service Commission, the Judiciary and on my own behalf, I express our deepest condolences to his family, friends and his colleagues in the Judiciary.
“Hon Oduor served the Judiciary in various capacities since 21st May 2001 when he joined as a District Magistrate II and started his career at Kibera Law Courts.
“He was later posted to various stations including Keroka, Kisii, Limuru and Nakuru. By the time of his death he had risen through the ranks to become a Chief Magistrate.
“We are grateful for the time he served the Judiciary and pray that God grants his family the fortitude to bear this loss.”