Four suspects arraigned in court on February 17, 2023 for allegedly stealing a baby from Bungoma County Referral Hospital. PHOTO | NAMISI CHEPTAI | CITIZEN DIGITAL
Four suspects accused of stealing a baby from Bungoma County Referral Hospital were on Friday released on a Ksh.300,000 bond with a surety of a similar amount or a cash bail of Ksh.80,000 each.
The accused; Dr Joseph Owola, Irine Atieno, Robai Nanyama and Joseline Nakhumincha, were released by Senior Principal Magistrate Charles Mutai after they denied the charges.
According to a police report seen by Citizen Digital, the quartet allegedly stole an infant belonging to Mercy Chebet in December last year, after she delivered twins at the hospital
“It was reported by one Mercy Chebet Sabaot, a resident of Chepyuk within Mt Elgon sub-county, that on the 5th December 2022, she was admitted at Bungoma County Referral Hospital maternity ward where she gave birth to twins (baby boy and baby girl) through caesarian,” read a section of the report.
However, Chebet was instead given only one baby, a girl, and on enquiring about the other, the medical staff reportedly turned a deaf ear and withheld all her documents.
“She questioned where the other baby was since an ultrasound was done during prenatal clinics, and it showed that she was carrying twins. She further alleges that the doctors who attended to her wished her away and withdrew all other documents from her,” stated the report.
She then filed a report at the Bungoma Police Stations, upon which officers embarked on a mission to find the missing baby.
Nakhumincha was later found with the baby while in the company of the other co-accused persons.
“DCI team from Bungoma South commenced investigations whereas at around 11 pm at Bungoma township, one Joseline Nakhumincha Simiyu was found in possession of stolen unnamed baby while in the company of other three women and one man,” the police noted.
They were arrested and have been in custody for one week.
Judge Mutai said the accused were granted the bond after their lawyers assured them they were law-abiding citizens and could not run away.
The case will be mentioned on April 17, 2023 and heard on June 6, 2023.