No more VIP treatment for Obado

Irene Githinji @gitshee

Migori Governor Okoth Obado has been moved from a “VIP section” to a block where suspects charged with capital offences are held at Nairobi’s Industrial Area Remand Prison.

This comes days after the People Daily last week revealed Obado was being accorded VIP treatment awaiting bail ruling in a case in which he is charged with the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno.

The governor is now reportedly blending with other suspects donning a grey uniform.

At the prison, capital offence suspects are held in a separate block, divided in cubicles that host three to four suspects. Lavatories are shared.

Last week our source revealed that Obado was enjoying VIP treatment with own room, access to newspapers and television and used toilet facilities far superior to the buckets used by ordinary remedies. He was also allowed to receive guests.

Today will be Obado’s 11th day as a guest of the State after High Court judge Jessie Lesiit, denied him bail until October 8, when a ruling on his bail application will be delivered.

Last Thursday, Justice Lesiit sent Obado back to remand for 11 more days, coming as a major blow since he had already been behind bars for a week.

She said the prosecution was yet to avail documentary evidence and witness statements it intends to use during the trial, adding that failure to provide them could not be interpreted to mean the prosecution had no case at all.

“That is the only way that this court can fully exercise its discretion applying the factors for consideration in determining whether or not any compelling reason exist to deny bail,” said the judge.

The prosecution also said it was apprehensive that Obado might interfere with witnesses or suppress investigations.

Back at Industrial Area, Obado’s typical day starts at around 6.30am when breakfast—porridge— is served. From there, the inmates are allowed to engage in different activities. They can choose to bask in the sun, watch TV, read books or newspapers obtained from the facility’s library, among other activities.

As much as Obado is allowed visitors, sources say that he is not seeing all of them.

“When visitors come, he first asks who it is and chooses whether to see them or not. He is seeing his relatives and some of his friends,” sources at the remand prison told People Daily. Lunch is then served at 11 am and just like everyone else, Obado is taking what is on the day’s menu, including ugali, rice and beans.

However, reports indicate that as much as he is eating like the rest of the inmates, his food is better cooked.

Obada still has a voucher, which allows reminders to eat at the canteen. However, unlike last week where he had access to the canteen any time of the day, persons held in the block he is in are only allowed there between 8 am and 10 am.

Dinner is served at 4 pm. Doors to cells are then locked at 6.30pm and in there, inmates gather for evening prayers after which they sleep.


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