NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 26 – Governor Okoth Obado’s aide Michael Oyamo on Wednesday denied murdering Sharon Otieno, a Rongo University student who was found dead at Homa Bay’s Kodera forest, a day after she went missing.
During an appearance before Lady Justice Jessie Lessit of the Criminal Division of the High Court Oyamo pleaded not guilty to the murder seeking to be released on bail pending trial.
His boss, Obado, denied a similar charge when he was arraigned before Lady Justice Lessit on Monday and he appeared in court on Tuesday to argue his application for bail.
Oyamo’s request for bail was set for noon on Wednesday.
Obado will return to the same court on Thursday for a similar ruling having presented his plea for bail on Tuesday.
The two bring to three the number of persons that have been charged with Sharon’s murder so far, Caspal Obiero, another aide of the governor having been charged with aiding and abetting the crime.
The prosecution and Sharon’s family lawyers have objected bail applications for the suspects on grounds of witness interference.
Public Prosecutor Noordin Haji had on Tuesday expressed intent to consolidate the murder trial and include a seven-month old foetus the 26-year-old student was carrying at the time of her murder.
Senior Assistant Public Prosecutor Alexander Muteti made the revelation when Obado’s lawyers challenged him for citing the murder of the unborn child, which murder was not formally submitted to the court when the Migori county chief was charged with Sharon’s murder on Monday.
The amendment will be premised on Article 26 of the Constitution which provides for the right to life.
Article 26 (2) further provides that, “the life of a person begins at conception.”
According to Haji, the decision to charge Obado with the murder was made after it emerged that the governor could have been unhappy with Sharon’s pregnancy which had resulted from an intimate relationship the two had.
A DNA test conducted on Sharon’s seven-month-old unborn child confirmed Obado to be the father.
Obado who had admitted to having had an affair with the Rongo University student, was arrested by detectives working on the case on Friday last week, two days after the outcome of the DNA test.
Findings of a postmortem examination of Sharon’s body released on September 7 had indicated that the university student had succumbed to excessive bleeding having been stabled eight times, strangled and raped.
Obado’s aide, Oyamo, had been captured on September 5, a day after Sharon’s body was recovered.
Nation newspaper journalist, Barack Oduor, who was abducted alongside Sharon, told the police that they were in the company of Oyamo prior to their abduction.
Detectives also arrested former 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 Caspal Obiero’s wife.
Obiero was subsequently charged with abetting Sharon’s murder.