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Okoth Obado returns to court to know bail fate

Thursday September 27 2018

Migori Governor Okoth Obado.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado in the dock at the Mililani Law Courts on September 27, 2018 with defence lawyers. He was denied bail. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP  

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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Migori Governor Okoth Obado will today know his fate on whether he will be freed on bail or not pending his murder trial.

High Court Judge Jessi Lessit is expected to issue a ruling later today.

On Monday, Mr Obado denied charges of killing his 26-year-old girlfriend Sharon Otieno.

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A bail or a bond is a right to every accused person, but the prosecution want him detained longer.

The prosecution argue that if he is released, investigations into the murder case will be tampered with because he is a prominent and influential person in his county yet witnesses in the trial are residents or employees in the area.

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Prosecution has also argued that the lives of some witnesses could be in danger besides the deceased’s family who have already reportedly received threats as well as intimidation.

However, his defence lawyers told court that Mr Obado’s position should not be used to deny him bond terms and that he deserves to be protected by the law just like any other accused person.

They urged the court to ask the prosecution to use the Witness Protection Act to shield the witnesses and Sharon’s family.

They also asked the court to consider his political stakes and dismissed claims that he would interfere with the investigations.

Three people including the governor and his two personal assistants have been arraigned in court so far in connection with the murder of Ms Otieno, a Rongo University student.

Should he be denied bail, his deputy, Nelson Mwita could take over his position. If convicted, the county boss stares at a life sentence.