President Barack Obama’s long-lost uncle declared he would ‘call the White House’ after being arrested for alleged drunk driving.
Obama Onyango, otherwise known as the mysterious ‘Uncle Omar’, said he would like to phone his powerful nephew after being offered the customary free call by police in Massachusetts.
Last night the 67-year-old illegal immigrant, who is thought to have moved from Kenya to the U.S. in the 1960s and is being held under a longstanding warrant for his deportation, was charged with driving under the influence of alcohol.
He was pulled over last week after he nearly collided with an unmarked police Mitsubishi SUV patrol car near a fried chicken shop in the Boston suburb of Framingham while allegedly over the legal limit.
The policeman and another driver both slammed on their brakes after Mr Onyango went through a stop sign, a judge was told.
In evidence given to the Framingham District Court, arresting officer Val Krishtal wrote that the suspect was ‘moderately unsteady on his feet’ and was unable to walk in a straight line or balance on one leg for more than seven seconds.
But what the officer did not know was that Mr Onyango was that the man he arrested was the older brother of the president’s aunt, Zeituni Onyango, who was last year allowed to stay in Boston after a long court battle with U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement service who wanted to deport her.
According to The Times,the first clue might have come once he was taken to Framingham police station and the officer reported that: ‘When asked if he wanted to make a telephone call to arrange his bail, Obama stated, “I think I will call the White House”.’
The mysterious suspect, whose whereabouts was long unknown, was referred to as ‘Uncle Omar’ in the President’s 1995 book Dreams from My Father.
In the autobiography, Mr Obama states Mr Onyango was ‘the uncle who left for America 25 years ago and had never come back’.
After being arrested outside Chicken Bone Saloon, in Framingham, at 7.10pm local time on August 24 he was breathalysed by police and allegedly had blood alcohol of 0.14mg per 100ml. The legal limit in the state is 0.08mg. He pleaded not guilty yesterday.
Mr Onyango is the son of his grandfather Hussein Onyango Obama’s third wife, Sarah. Barack Obama’s father, Barack Senior, was born to his grandfather’s second wife, Akumu.
However, the President calls Sarah ‘Granny’ because she brought up his father.
His mother was Stanley Ann Durham, who died in 1995. The President’s father was married four times and had eight children before he died in 1982 aged 46. They split up when Barack Obama Jnr was just two.
It was not until he visited Kenya in 1987 that he got to know many members of his family.
Police records show his ‘uncle’ Onyango Obama was born on June 3, 1944. A separate investigation by The Times newspaper three years ago revealed the President’s has the same date of birth.
At the time, he was believed to be living in the suburbs of Boston, the largest city in Massachusetts, where his sister–the President’s Auntie Zeituni–was living illegally.
She was allowed to stay in America following a court battle.
Mr Obama’s landlady is believed to have taken him to court to evict him in 2000 because he had not paid his $500-per-month rent.
He was also a partner in a convenience store business that opened in 1992.
Margaret Wong, the Cleveland lawyer who successfully represented Zeituni, confirmed through a representative last night that she has also been retained to defend Mr Obama.
‘Before he went to America, we all knew him as Omar. But he dropped that bit, changing it to Obama Onyango, because he said he preferred his African name,’ said Nelson Ochieng, a cousin in the Kenyan city of Kisumu.