Baraka Karama, Kinyuru Munuhe and Dickens Wasonga @PeopleDailyKe
Migori governor Okoth Obado yesterday told the press in the company of his family that he was aggrieved by the death of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno but denied involvement in her brutal killing.
Obado spoke a day after he had reportedly confessed to police about his long-running love affair with Sharon, whom he also said he had been taking care of her financial needs.
Our sources said the governor had on Tuesday admitted responsibility for Sharon’s seven-month pregnancy and expressed his and his family’s desire to have her killers brought to book
During an eight-hour grueling grilling by detectives at the Nyanza regional police headquarters, Obado is said to have disclosed he was in a relationship with the late Sharon and always gave her money for her upkeep.
Obado maintained yesterday that he had “nothing and absolutely nothing” to do with the brutal murder.
He was peaking for the first time since Sharon’s death. He was in the company of his nuclear family and a handful of Migori County government employees.
Obado condoled with Sharon’s family but said his own family had been devastated by claims linking him to the murder. At the press conference were his wife Hellen Okoth, daughter Everlyn Okoth and son Jerry Okoth. His lawyer Cliff Ombeta who was present had earlier confirmed during an interview with a national TV station that his client and Sharon had an affair.
“To my supporters and the general electorate and also well-wishers who are with me in prayers I urge that you should continue praying for me,” he said.
Obado urged politicians and the media to desist from proclamations linking him to the murder and instead allow investigative agencies to expedite the homicide probe.
However, the governor did not take questions from the media to explain how he knew the student and if he received distress calls from her when she was abducted in the company of Daily Nation journalist Barrack Oduor.
The governor said although he had already recorded statements with detectives attached to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations in Kisumu, he is ready to write further statements when called upon so that the killers of Sharon are known.
“We are indeed at our very lowest as a family. On my behalf and on behalf of family we send a message of condolences to Sharon’s family and friends. I ask all agencies involved to speed up investigations so the killers are brought to book as quickly as possible,” said Obado.
Obado’s emphatic denial and protracted silence comes at a time his personal aide Michael Oyamo has been charged with murder. Yesterday, the High Court ruled that he be detained for 14 days. There has been mounting pressure from the deceased’s family, political leaders and the public to have the planners and perpetrators of Sharon’s killers arrested and charged. Sharon was killed almost a fortnight ago after she was abducted alongside Oduor.
Oduor managed to escape from the speeding car but Sharon’s body was later found dumped in Kodera forest.
Postmortem analysis showed she was stabbed eight times and her seven months baby injured on the head by a stab wound through her womb.
Obado’s DNA was taken to ascertain the paternity of the unborn child amid assertions he impregnated the mother of two.
A police source told the People Daily the governor disclosed having given Sharon Sh200, 000 two weeks before the murder.
“He did not deny that, and in fact he was very open and admitted even before the DNA samples were taken. The results of the samples are only meant to confirm what he said, ” the source said.
Police are also investigating call data indicating Obado may have sent Sharon an SMS on the fateful day telling her Oyamo would “sort you out with Sh250, 000.”
Sharon’s mother Melinda Auma had earlier confirmed the two were lovers and she knew about the pregnancy.
Melinda said Obado wanted Sharon to abort the baby but she advised her to keep it, which she agreed. Obado’s laywer Cliff Ombeta said the governor was in a relationship with the 26-year-old student but denied being involved in her murder.
Ombeta said: “They knew each other and the relationship was public knowledge. It is the normal thing of people having their weak moments. Even people in the county knew about it but that does not mean that he is responsible. Let’s wait for the investigations to be completed and the truth will definitely come out”.
Obado also told detectives he had sacked his personal assistant, Michael Oyamo, a year ago and had no communication with him.
The police source said that the detectives obtained Obado’s phone records, which confirmed he had not communicated with Oyamo for the last one year.
Detectives obtained call logs of the governor and the people he last talked to for the period under investigations.
The source said the governor was being treated as a suspect in the murder case and was released on condition he avails himself at the DCI whenever needed.