More than 30 witnesses have been lined up to testify in the murder case against Migori Governor Okoth Obado and two others.
Detectives from the homicide team investigating the murder of Mr Obado’s girlfriend Sharon Otieno said they have more than 30 witnesses and that “more may still be brought on board depending on the investigations that are still ongoing.”
On Wednesday, sources privy to the investigations told the Nation that some of the individuals who had been arrested in connection with the killing of the Rongo University student were now being treated as witnesses.
“So far, we have three suspects who have been charged in court and more than 30 witnesses,” said a source at the centre of the investigations.
The suspects are Mr Obado, his personal assistant Michael Oyamo and a Migori county government clerk, Mr Caspal Obiero.
The detectives confirmed that former Kanyadoto MCA Lawrence Mula and taxi driver Jack Gombe, who had earlier on been arrested in connection to Ms Otieno’s killing and her abduction together with Nation journalist Barrack Oduor, are being treated as witnesses.
Mr Oduor, who jumped out of the abductors' vehicle at Nyangweso market on the fateful night of September 3, is the key witness.
The detectives are also looking for three suspects they believe are crucial in unravelling the murder of Ms Otieno.
They have extended the search for the fugitives to both Uganda and Tanzania, hoping to bring to book those who raped, stabbed and strangled, her and her unborn baby.
Last Week, Directorate of Criminal Investigations boss George Kinoti said he could not reveal more on the regional hunt, fearing that it might compromise the search.
“What is I can say is that they won’t have any place to hide. We are on their trail,” he said.
The detectives also arrested Mr Grado Kithine Ocholla saying had been adversely mentioned by witnesses.
A Kiambu court allowed police to detain Mr Ocholla for 10 more days.
Mr Obado was released from Industrial Area prison after three weeks following a ruling by Judge Jessie Lessit that evidence linking him to the murder of Ms Otieno and her unborn baby was so far only circumstantial.
She ruled that it would be dangerous to deny him bond pending trial.
“I find that Governor Obado is entitled to bond. He should, therefore, deposit a cash bail of Sh5 million and provide two sureties of the same amount each,” she ruled.
While he is now free and has resumed his duties as governor, Mr Obado is still besieged as he was ordered not to go beyond 20km of his county, not to cause any adjournments when the trial starts, and to report to the deputy registrar of the court every month.
The judge also ordered him to deposit in court his travel documents, including his Kenyan, East Africa and diplomatic passports.
Mr Obado was also cautioned against intimidating parents, siblings and Ms Otieno’s relations, and witnesses. He was ordered also not to discuss the case in private or in public.
As for his co-accused, the judge ruled that they were not entitled to be released on bond pending trial.
“The likelihood of these two accused absconding cannot be underrated bearing in mind the reaction of the public at the time of their arrest and also investigations into this case. Their release is likely to disturb public order, and I, therefore, decline to grant them bond,” Justice Lessit ruled.