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Okoth Obado to renew bond application in murder case

Migori Governor Okoth Obado is expected back in court on Monday where he will renew an application to be freed on bail.

Mr Obado, who was arrested in connection with the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno, was remanded at Industrial Area Prison after he was denied bail by the High Court Jessie Lesiit.

He will be appearing in court as Migori residents go to polls to elect their senator following the death of Ben Okello.

The prosecution believes it has a strong case against Governor Obado in the murder of the 26-year-old student.

But in the application filed Friday, Mr Obado said after going through all the witness statements, there is nothing compelling to deny him bail.

The State has lined up 24 witnesses to testify when the trial begins as per documents filed in court on Wednesday.

FLIGHT RISK

Mr Obado however said none of the statements has linked him to Ms Otieno’s abductors, who are still at large, or the investigators’ adduced evidence stating that he will hinder their arrest.

He maintained that he is not a flight risk, being a resident of Rapogi in Uriri, Migori, and he also has a house in Nairobi’s Lavington.

“I have a wife and six children, and I am also the breadwinner of the family,” he said in an affidavit filed in court.

Justice Lesiit declined to release him on bond on September 27, saying the court was yet to see the witness statements and documentary evidence to be used in the case so as to determine whether a compelling reason exists to deny him bond.

The judge said at this stage, the court cannot make a conclusive finding on issues raised by the prosecution, among them the security and the volatile situation in Migori County.

WITNESSES

She said the fact that the prosecution said investigations were still ongoing “cannot be wished away”.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecutions Jacob Ondari opposed Mr Obado’s release, saying he is an influential person and might compromise witnesses, most of whom are from Migori.

Some of the witnesses, he said, were county employees and the police were yet to record their statements.

The prosecution also said it was apprehensive that Mr Obado might interfere with witnesses or suppress investigations.

But Mr Obado said he has co-operated with the investigators in every way, and had even voluntarily given his DNA sample and his mobile phone to assist in the investigation.

SUSPECTS

Mr Obado has denied murdering Ms Otieno, an offence he allegedly committed between September 3 and 4 at Owade area in Rachuonyo sub-county, Homa Bay County. The charge stated that he committed the offence with others not before court.

Two others suspects, Mr Caspal Obiero, a clerk in Migori, and Mr Obado’s personal assistant Michael Oyamo, have also denied killing the county boss’s pregnant girlfriend.

The prosecution hinted at consolidating the case and arguing application for bail before the same judge.

The State is also considering bringing more charges against Mr Obado for the killing of the seven-month-old foetus.

SICK

The three are remanded at Industrial Area although Mr Obado was transferred to Kenyatta National Hospital after falling sick.

He was admitted to KNH’s private wing complaining of swellings on his face and other parts, according to his lawyer Cliff Ombeta.

But on Thursday, Mr Obado was transferred to a general ward. “We don’t understand why they are holding my client in the general ward when they have a private facility at their disposal. I am headed there right now to find out what is happening,” Mr Ombeta said.

By Daily Nation

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