alexa Bail ruling for Okoth Obado, co-accused set for today - Daily Nation

Bail ruling for Okoth Obado, co-accused set for today

Wednesday October 24 2018

Okoth Obado

Migori Governor Okoth Obado (left) is embraced by his lawyer Cliff Ombeta at the Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi, on October 12, 2018 during his bail hearing. Obado is accused of murder. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

LEONARD ONYANGO
By LEONARD ONYANGO
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Migori Governor Okoth Obado is Wednesday morning expected back in court to know his fate on whether he will be released on bail or continue to spend more days in remand.

High Court judge Jessie Lesiit is expected to deliver her ruling on Mr Obado’s and his co-accused bail applications at 9am.

Mr Obado has been behind bars at the Industrial Area Remand Prison since his arrest on September 21 in connection with the murder of Sharon Otieno, who was at the time seven months pregnant.

The second-term Migori governor is facing two murder charges alongside his personal assistant Michael Oyamo and Migori County Clerk Caspal Obiero over the killing of Rongo University student.

They allegedly committed the offence between September 3 and 4 this year at Owade in Rachuonyo Sub-County of Homa Bay County.

The body of the second-year medical records and information student was found in a thicket in Oyugis.

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Mr Obado and his two aides are also facing a second murder charge — that of killing Ms Otieno’s unborn child.

SECOND ATTEMPT

This is Obado’s second attempt at securing bail following his arrest.

His first attempt to have himself set free on bail flopped on September 27 when Justice Lessit declined the request citing uncertainty of the safety of witnesses in the murder trial.

While rejecting Obado’s application for bail, Justice Lesiit said the court was yet to see the witness statements and documentary evidence to be used in the case.

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

While arguing Mr Obado’s second application for bail two weeks ago, lawyer Cliff Ombeta asked the court to free the Migori governor on bail as the murder trial for Ms Otieno continues since the prosecution, according to him, had not adduced compelling evidence suggesting the county chief could interfere with witnesses.

But the prosecution led by state counsel Alexander Muteti reiterated fears over safety of witnesses. 

The prosecution adduced an affidavit indicating that some witnesses had been accosted and intimidated by unknown persons.

Lawyer Jacob Ondari told the court the prosecution believed Mr Obado and his co-accused persons could pose serious danger to witnesses given the seriousness of the offense they face.

Ms Otieno was buried on Friday, October 19, at Magare village in Homabay County, near the grave where her unborn child was buried about a month ago at her grandfather's home.