The wife to a former assistant minister has been arrested in Nairobi for allegedly exposing her neighbours baby to a corrosive washing chemical.
Caroline Pere Odoyo, wife of former Nyakachi MP Peter Odoyo, was briefly held and questioned at Muthangari Police Station for causing serious burns to the one-year-old baby boy. incident occurred almost two months ago and the family of the affected baby have complained of a cover-up.
But police yesterday confirmed investigations were complete and that the suspect would be charged on Tuesday. Caroline is accused of pouring caustic soda, commonly known as sodium hydroxide, in a shared laundry area of their apartment in Lavington. Her neighbour's child is said to have wandered into the area and sustained serious burns on the face and on the hands after coming in contact with the corrosive chemical. Sodium hydroxide is used for clearing clogged drains.
Because it is corrosive, caustic soda is rarely used in homes and domestic bleaches such as jik are widely used. The baby's father Samson Kamau said the accident happened on March 21, 2012 and they reported the matter to the police on March 27 after getting young Jeffrey out of hospital. The family initially thought it was an accident, but they became suspicious after the Odoyo's failed to show remorse. "They never visited or even apologized over the incident," said Kamau
According to Kamau, the families staying on the apartment have never agreed on the sharing arrangement of the laundry area. He stays on the second floor while the Odoyos occupy the house next to the laundry area. Police at Muthangari confirmed that they had received the report and investigations were hampered by a number of factors including the medical condition of the accused. Caroline has been summoned several times but her doctor's assessment always gave police reason to delay her being taken to court. She is also expectant.
Dagoretti police commander Mathew Gwiyo said they had given her time as requested by her doctor. "She was to be arraigned (Friday) today, but the doctor also intervened. So it will be on Tuesday," said Gwiyo. The former MP is accused of having visited the police station where he tried on several occasions to influence the case.