NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 27 – The High Court on Thursday denied Migori Governor Okoth Obado bail owing to uncertainty of the safety of witnesses in the murder trial of Sharon Otieno, a Rongo University student.
While issuing the ruling on bail application Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit said the court could not grant Obado’s application for bail until such a time witness statements are made available and reviewed.
“The application cannot be determined before the witness statements and other evidence are availed to all the parties. 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 exists to deny bail,” she explained.
“At this stage I am disallowing the application,” Justice Lesiit ruled.
The prosecution had objected the bail application by Obado on Tuesday on grounds that he could interfere with key witnesses in the murder trial.
The public prosecutor had also cited volatility of security in Migori as reason for objecting bail, saying it was for that reason Obado was charged in Nairobi.
The prosecution indicated during Obado’s bail application that he will also be charged with the murder of a seven-month old foetus Sharon was carrying when she was murdered.
The second murder count will be premised on Article 26 of the Constitution which provides for the right to life. It provides that “the life of a person begins at conception.”
Obado is set to appear back in court on October 8 when his case will be consolidated with other co-accused persons.
Meanwhile, Caspal Obiero, an aide to Governor Obado was charged with the murder of Sharon before the same court Thursday afternoon.
Obiero, who was linked to the car used to abduct the slain student and Nation newspaper journalist Barack Oduor, denied the murder charge while seeking consent for medical attention.
Justice Lesiit directed that Obiero be detained at the Industrial Area Remand Prison pending a court appearance on October 8 for bail application hearing.
Also charged with the murder of Sharon is Michael Oyamo, another aide of Obado, who the prosecution told the court lured and delivered the 26-year-old university student to her abductors.
Other individuals being questioned by the police over the murder of the pregnant university student are Kanyadoto Member of County Assembly Lawrence Mula, Obado’s personal bodyguard, Eliud Okoth Omondi, and taxi operator Jack Gombe in relation to the murder.
Gombe was identified as the driver of the car used in the abduction, a car whose ownership was traced to Obiero’s wife.
Obiero’s wife is said to have denied being in possession of the car between September 3 and 4 when the vehicle is said to have been used in the abduction of Sharon and the Nation newspaper writer.