Four people are facing assault charges for allegedly beating up a mathematics professor in Racecourse Estate in Kapseret, Uasin Gishu County. The motive behind the alleged attack is said to be the professor’s loud nighttime prayers on his newly acquired property.

The incident transpired on the night of November 9 when the professor, who doubles up as a pastor, was conducting a night vigil to cleanse the land.

According to the official charge sheet, Dr. Geoffrey Masika Wechuli, employed at Kapsabet County Referral Hospital, James Nyamweya Mwamba, an employee of Kenya Ordinance Factory, and Maurice Obiero and Ednah Saeyi Khaemba, along with unidentified others not present in court, attacked Professor Wilfred Sawanda.

One of the accused, Dr Masika, confirmed the attack, saying angry neighbors were irritated with noisy prayers and strange chantings from the complainant.

“As neighbours we were annoyed with the strange noise that was coming from the professor’s compound and we went out to find out what was going on and that is when some of our angry neighbors allegedly assaulted him hence subjecting him to said injuries,” the medical doctor testified.

Dr. Masika, however, disassociated himself from the group of irate neighbors accused of beating up the professor. He argued that his commitment to the Hippocratic Oath, as a medical practitioner, prevented him from causing harm to others.

The medical practitioner also concurred with the medical report presented in court, which confirmed that the professor had sustained injuries.

“I agree with the medical report presented in this court by my fellow doctor from Moi Teaching and Referral Hospital, however, I was not among people who assaulted the complainant bearing in mind that I have taken an oath of protecting life,” said Dr Masika.

Recounting the night of the incident, the doctor said neighbors found lit candles along the fence, sparking suspicion about the activities taking place within the compound.

Another suspect and witness, Mr. Nyamweya, denied assaulting his neighbor. He admitted to being awakened by other neighbors due to the noisy professor.

Nyamweya accused the professor of engaging in unsettling rituals at night under the guise of cleansing prayers.

All four accused suspects denied the charges before Chief Magistrate Mogire Onkoba, who adjourned the defense hearing to January 24, 2024.