Bernice Mbugua and Irene Githinji @PeopleDailyKe
Migori Governor Okoth Obado yesterday pleaded not guilty to the murder of his pregnant girlfriend Sharon Otieno and was immediately remanded at Industrial Area Remand Prison.
In the twinkle of an eye, Obado’s life dramatically changed, from a county honcho chauffer-driven by well-groomed bodyguards in goosy suits, to being driven in a weather-beaten green prison bus with wire mesh for windows, through which hungry, disheveled prisoners peep into the free world.
Earlier, Obado had appeared before High Court judge Jessie Lessit and denied that between September 3 and 4 within Homa Bay county and jointly with others not before the court, he murdered the late Sharon.
Few minutes after Obado was charged, the Office of Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) directed the arrest of hit men and other persons adversely mentioned in the case.
DPP Noordin Haji said his office would continue to review the case and that more arrests would be made in line with the evidence relating to the abduction and murder of Sharon.
He said human life was sacrosanct and must be respected by all irrespective of social, economic or political standing.
“Sharon and her unborn baby lost their lives in gruesome and horrifying manner in the hands of her killers. My office is therefore committed to ensuring that all perpetrators of the heinous act are brought to book and subjected to the due process of the law,” Haji said in a statement.
Haji directed that Michael Oyamo, Obado’s Personal Assistant be charged with murder and that Caspal Obiero be charged with aiding and abetting the commission of the felony termed murder.
“It was established that an intimate relationship existed between Obado, which subsequently led to the pregnancy with the deceased that the governor was unhappy about,” said Haji.
Obado who is the first sitting governor to face murder charge will be remanded at Industrial Area Prison until 2pm today when the court will hear the arguments on bail application.
He is represented by former High Court judge Nicholas Ombija, Cliff Ombeta, Rogers Sagana and Evans Ondieki.
The prosecutions team led by Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Jacob Ondari and Tom Imbali intend to oppose his release on bail.
They want Obado remanded until Wednesday because of a similar matter, which is coming up on that day as they intend to consolidate them.
Obado’s lawyers want the governor released on bond to continue with his gubernatorial job. In an affidavit filed in court, Obado states that he is a father of six children all who are school going and depend on him.
He says he is not a flight risk and will attend all court mentions and hearings as of when required to do so by court. “I shall abide by all conditions set by court as pre requisite for being granted bond,” he said.
The governor looked composed as he chatted and laughed with his lawyers before the judge entered the courtroom. Sharon’s mother Melida Auma, who appeared weak and wore a grim look, was also in court to follow the court proceedings. At one time she could not control her tears.