Gov­er­nor awaits rul­ing on his bail ap­pli­ca­tion

Daily Nation (Kenya) - - National News - BY SAM KIPLAGAT

Mig­ori Gov­er­nor Zacharia Okoth Obado will spend two more nights at In­dus­trial Area re­mand await­ing a rul­ing on his bail ap­pli­ca­tion.

Mr Obado, who has since de­nied mur­der­ing 28-year-old Sharon Otieno, was ar­rested last Fri­day and spent the week­end in po­lice cus­tody. But the gov­er­nor will still be a state guest, al­beit un­til Thurs­day, when Jus­tice Jessie Le­siit will de­cide whether to re­lease him on bond.

The pros­e­cu­tion led by Deputy Di­rec­tor of Pub­lic Prose­cu­tions Ja­cob On­dari op­posed his re­lease say­ing Mr Obado is an in­flu­en­tial per­son and most of the wit­nesses are from Mig­ori, with some of them be­ing county em­ploy­ees.

He said the like­li­hood of Mr Obado in­ter­fer­ing with wit­nesses or sup­press­ing in­ves­ti­ga­tions were high, if he is re­leased on bond. He fur­ther said that the po­lice were yet to com­plete in­ves­ti­ga­tions and re­leas­ing him might com­pro­mise the probe.

‘The right to bail is not ab­so­lute. We urge you to con­sider the grav­ity of the offence and the pun­ish­ment it car­ries,” Mr On­dari said, adding that they have ev­i­dence that Ms Otieno was lured into her death.

Fur­ther, the pros­e­cu­tion said the con­fes­sion al­legedly made by one of the sus­pects iden­ti­fied as Jack­son Gombe makes it even a com­pelling rea­son to not re­lease Mr Obado be­cause it is ex­tremely dan­ger­ous. He added that Ms Otieno’s fam­ily has been threat­ened and in­tim­i­dated.

But in re­ply, Mr Obado through lawyers Cliff Om­beta and Ni­cholas Om­bija said the al­leged con­fes­sion was doc­tored or falsely pro­cured. Mr Om­beta ques­tioned why the po­lice were in a rush to charge Mr Obado then claim that the in­ves­ti­ga­tions were not com­plete.

Mr Om­beta said that the pros­e­cu­tion should not use Mr Obado’s po­si­tion as a gov­er­nor to “cru­cify him” be­cause he too, should be equally treated and pro­tected be­fore the law.

The lawyer fur­ther said the pros­e­cu­tion must give ev­i­dence of the al­leged con­nec­tion be­tween Mr Obado and the hit-men or ab­duc­tors and not mere al­le­ga­tions.

“If the pros­e­cu­tion is ap­pre­hen­sive that some of the wit­nesses might be harmed, they can use the Wit­ness Pro­tec­tion Act,” he said.

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

Mr Obado main­tained that the mur­der is bail­able un­der Ar­ti­cle 49(1)(h) of the con­sti­tu­tion and that he has a right to be re­leased on bond.

Mig­ori Gov­er­nor Zacharia Okoth Obado (left) at the Mil­i­mani Law Courts yes­ter­day where he was charged with the mur­der of univer­sity stu­dent Sharon Atieno.

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