As four lawyers defended Okoth Obado against the charge of murdering his pregnant girlfriend Sharon Otieno on Monday, some of his supporters were protesting outside the High Court.
In a show of solidarity, the motely crowd, the majority of whom travelled from Migori on Sunday night, also defended their besieged man the best way they could after being locked out of the packed courtroom.
They expressed their displeasure openly and loudly, and some observers claimed their ‘defence’ matched that of the four lawyers inside the courtroom.
The men, women and youths maintained that Mr Obado is innocent, and that detectives should go for the real killer of Ms Otieno.
They waved placards mocking the slain Rongo University student and chanted in support of the embattled governor.
In some of their messages, some written in Dholuo, the protesters—mostly women—appeared to blame Ms Otieno.
Some also hit out at opposition leader Raila Odinga for “his silence” on Mr Obado’s woes.
“Raila has betrayed the people of Migori. Why can’t he speak out for our governor? We shall punish him when time comes,” said one of the supporters.
And for all these, the protestors have angered many Kenyans, including Kenyans on Twitter (KOT).
They castigated the protesters for their apparent insensitivity to the family of Ms Otieno.
“It is very wrong for the protesters to show such callousness by accusing the dead. What do they expect the family of Ms Otieno, which is mourning to think? This is aggravating their pain of losing a loved one,” Mr Jacob MakAwiti, posted on Facebook.
Ms Lilian Awiti was concerned that the majority of who were mocking Mr Obado’s slain girlfriend and son were women.
“It is unfortunate that those who are mocking Sharon are women. Instead of standing with their own and calling for speedy justice, they are blaming the dead and adding more pain to the bereaved family. This is very bad,” she posted on Twitter
Mr Agabus Milimu felt the supporters had been blinded.
“It is sad that people can be manipulated to defend their leaders blindly. What are they protesting against by the way? If Mr Obado is innocent, the courts will release him. They should let justice take its course.”
And while Ms Lucy Adhiambo, a resident of Migori, feels Mr Obados supporters have a right to express their displeasure, she says insults are not the best way to argue their case.
“Much as Obado’s supporters have the right to stand with him, it is wrong for them to insult the dead as this really hurts the mourning family,” she said.
“They should be sensitive to the plight of the friends, family members and relatives of Ms Otieno who was brutally murdered.”
Mr Obado, who was moved to Industrial Area Prison remand after denying the murder charge, is set to return to court on Tuesday at 2pm for the hearing of his bond request.
It is not clear if his supporters will take their ‘stands’ at the city court again.