A superior court in the US has allowed the exhumation of a Kenyan woman’s body, secretly buried by her lover in December 2020.
Obadiah Kinara, the husband of the deceased Dorothy Ong’era, had moved to the court of appeal to have an order quashed allowing the body to be exhumed for postmortem.
Through his advocate, Ms Kursten King, Mr Kinara sought to block his father-in-law, David Ong’era, from exhuming his daughter’s remains.
He argued that the lower court abused its powers by allowing Mr Ong’era to conduct an autopsy. He claimed that Mr Ong’era had no legal authority to demand a postmortem without his say so.
But Mr Ong’era, through his lawyer, Amy Lorez, said he had the right to find his daughter’s cause of death.
He also disputed the alleged marriage between his daughter and Mr Kinara. He claimed that his departed daughter was married to a Denis Mose back in Kenya under the Gusii customary laws.
Mr Kinara on his part presented in court a divorce decree apparently issued by a Kisii court. Preliminary reports did however show that the case number on the alleged court order belongs to different parties in an ongoing litigation in Kisii.
Mr Ong’era told the court that Mr Kinara was only out to delay the course of justice as he had not raised any triable matters of law that needed the court’s intervention.
The Second Court of Appeals Judges, Birdwell, Bassel and Wallach, dismissed Mr Kinara’s appeal and ordered the lower court to hear and determine who had the right to take possession of the body.
The hearing will take place on September 27, 2021.
The ruling allowed Mr Ong’era to have his daughter’s body exhumed and a post-mortem conducted by an independent pathologist to establish the cause of her death.
The lower court will also determine the exhumation date and a burial date.
Mr Kinara is facing criminal charges of child abuse and endangerment after it was determined that his six children are not safe living with him.
They have currently been taken away and are in custody of Mr Ong’era.