The story of Aaron Ochieng surreptiously stealing Joy Doreen Biira sounds more unbelievable than the Nollywood melodrama served to domestic managers.
For starters, Aaron is a decent man. A KTN news editor. His monthly paycheck has many zeros than Matiang’i’s Es. He has an illustrious career as a news editor. Now, tell me, would such a man put all of these on the line for a relatively low-end 2.8m automobile?
You may argue that he didn’t foresee a possibility of being caught, but how daft would he be? Nowadays, virtually all luxurious cars have trackers. Changing the number plates alone is very inadequate to ward off detectives. I mean, there are very many loose ends to this version of a story that it would take a very credulous buffoon to believe.
As a well-traveled, well-read, and well-accomplished man he knows all these things, don’t you think?
From the outset, any onlooker can tell there is more than meets the eye in the entire saga. This is not a ‘normal theft’, and it shouldn’t be treated as such.
So, what happened?
It is a conspiracy gone awry. Period.
In court, while pleading not guilty to the charges of theft and handling a stolen property, Aaron stated that he had connived with Doreen Biira to defraud her insurer. The scheme was for him to drive out, hide the car, Doreen reports the theft, gets compensated by the insurer, they sell the car, blah blah blah. It happens.
The plan went well, but the man, like the Luo/Luhya he is, decided to hurriedly change the number plates so he could use the auto to show off back in his home during Christmas- only for detectives to follow and nab him there. Sad. Embarrassing. You know how awkward it is for a man to be arrested in front of his family for charges of theft, especially when he is starting to get comfortable as the boss in town?
His co-conspirator, Doreen, on realizing that the scheme was ruined, understandably held on to her version of the story: her car had been stolen from the standard group parking in Mombasa Road. I’d do that, too. If she wavers and concedes that she’d conspired with Aaron to ‘steal’ the car, then she loses her insurance because of fraud, and gets thrust into a legal quagmire: a charge of conspiracy to defraud contrary to section 317 of the penal code.
So, what do they do?
To save her lover, or co-conspirator, or whatever, she advises him to proffer the ‘insurance version’ as his defense- both in court and in the court of public opinion, while she insists her car was stolen from the parking lot.
You shouldn’t envy the prosecutor in this case. Neither do I. It will be a herculean task to convict Aaron on a charge of theft and a separate charge of handling stolen property. Remember he ought to proof his case beyond reasonable doubt. To do that he must completely ‘defeat’ Aaron’s argument that he’d connived with Doreen to defraud her insurance firm. And, should the prosecutor seek leave to amend the charge sheet to charge him with conspiracy to defraud, it will be harder to proof that as well as our man will backpedal in his confessions, thus, sending the prosecution to the drawing board.
Meanwhile, Doreen will saintly walk to and from the courtroom as an innocent victim, knowing nothing more than the fact that her precious ride was stolen by her colleague. No theft will be proven. No conspiracy to defraud will be proven.
When the case is concluded, the two lovers will hit the sheets, reprimand each other a little, make out the entire night, and in the morning, before going to work, scheme on who to defraud again. Maybe Aaron’s insurer this time. Or their company- standard group. My ideal couple. Go yea!