Photos as Sharon Otieno murder trial enters Day 1

Murder trial against Governor Obado officially begins

File image of Migori Governor Okoth Obado

The courts officially commenced the hearing of a murder case against Migori Governor Okoth Obado and two others.

Governor Obado is accused alongside Michael Oyamo and Caspal Obiero for the murder of former Rongo University student Sharon Belyn Otieno and her unborn child.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) preferred charges against the three back in September 2018.

"The DPP has not and doesn't intend to drop murder charges against Migori Governor Okoth Obado. Obado and his 2 co-accused are charged with 2 counts of murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno and her unborn baby," DPP Haji remarked at the time.

A first hearing of the matter was set for a date in March 2020, however, the hearing did not take place due to Covid-19 containment measures which halted physical appearances at the courts.

After being postponed to 5th to 15th July 2021, the hearing did not take place again after the accused persons sought adjournment, the matter proceeded to mention and the court set July 12 to July 15th as the new hearing dates.

Proceedings saw Governor Obado ask the court to remove a lawyer who was representing the late Sharon Otieno's family.

The Migori county boss says he will suffer prejudice if Prof. George Wajackoyah proceeds as the lawyer since he holds privileged information.

Obado said that he is apprehensive the information may be revealed and/or shared with the prosecution in the course of the proceedings.

In documents filed in court, the governor said that on September 23, 2018 — two days after his arrest — the advocate paid him a visit at Gigiri Police Station and sought his instructions on the murder case.

"... he showed me correspondence between himself and the two offices and I was convinced that indeed he had good knowledge in criminal law practice. He further confirmed that the two offices cleared him to represent me," Obado stated.

Lady justice Ngenye Macharia granted the orders and Lawyer Wajackoya was removed from the case in December 2019.

Corruption Charges against Okoth Obado

Governor Obado also faced corruption charges following investigations by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

He, together with four of his kin, were arrested and charged with abuse of office and embezzlement of public funds.

The Governor's children Dan Achola Okoth, Susan Scarlet Okoth, Jerry Zachary Okoth, and Adhiambo Evelyn Okoth received a cumulative Sh38.9 million out of the Sh73 million stolen from county coffers.

The Governor's close friend Jared Peter Odoyo Oluoch Kwanga was also accused of benefiting from fraudulent tenders and went on to rope in his wife, Christine Achola, his two brothers Joram and Patroba Otieno as well as his elderly mother, Peninah Auma.

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