Kisumu politician and businessman Douglas Otieno Owila has been detained at Kodiaga Prison after he failed to raise Ksh100, 000, which he had committed to a Kisumu court so as to secure the release of his friend.
Mr Owila, who presented himself as a surety, had initially given his motorbike logbook to the court. The motorcycle was valued at Ksh100, 000.
The former Migosi ward MCA aspirant, however, sold the motorbike as the case proceeded.
The suspect, a woman accused of “accidentally” burning her daughter to death with hot water, absconded court hearings, prompting the court to go for the guarantor – in this case, Mr Owila.
The businessman was given the option of raising Ksh100, 000 in two days or he, upon lapsing of the period, be detained until the day the needed money is raised.
EDAILY understands Mr Owila’s family managed to raise Ksh45, 000. The businessman’s friends were also implied upon to pool their resources so as to help secure Mr Owila’s release.
By Tuesday, March 19, Ksh80, 000 had been raised, with further calls to friends being made on social media to ensure the remaining Ksh20, 000 was collected.
By the time of going to press on Wednesday, March 20, Mr Owila was still detained at Kodiaga Prison.
The politician’s family and friends hoped to attain the Ksh100, 000 mark by Thursday, March 21.
The woman, who 31-year-old Owila supported as a surety, was his neighbour.
Mr Owila became an internet sensation in September 2016, when his story suggesting he parted with Ksh1.2 million for his then 1-year-old son’s party, went viral.
The celebrations allegedly went on for three days.
It was reported that Mr Owila only invited the ‘who is who’ of Kisumu at the party held at Royal City Hotel.
A local daily reported Mr Owila saying he was CEO of his own company and was at the helm of determining his own salary; hence the birthday budget was not a problem.
He was also reported to be running a car hire and public transport business which includes a fleet of tuktuks and motorcycles.
A month after his son’s birthday party was held, it – ironically — emerged that Mr Owila was deep in debt and could not pay his monthly house rent. He was allegedly, thereafter, kicked out of his apartment over unpaid Ksh118, 000 rent.
His landlord, allegedly thereafter, confiscated the businessman’s seven-seater sofa set, two tables and numerous documents.
The landlord, thereafter, leased the house to another tenant even as he pursued Douglas, whom he said had not paid rent since July, 2016.
According to the then-apartment agent, Dan Aguko, Mr Owila had rented the business apartment located at Polyview Estate for his office use and was expected to pay Ksh35,000 every month.
Mr Aguko said he received Ksh22, 000 from Douglas for the month of July 2016, with a pledge of paying the balance before end of the month.
According to Mr Aguko, that turned into empty promises, with his attempts to meet the tenant failing.
“The seats and documents we are holding cannot be converted to cash to recover the amount of money he owes us; hence we are still pursuing him to pay the money. Sometimes, he never picks calls and at times he receives and gives promises. The latest promise is end of this month, so we are waiting for the deadline,” said Mr Aguko at the time.
It remains unclear where Mr Owila moved, and how the case of unpaid dues ended.