Migori Governor Obado Issued With Tough Bail Conditions

by Mahakamani News

Migori Governor Okoth Obado

Migori Governor Okoth Obado is facing tough times despite being released on bail over the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno.

Obado, who was freed on Sh5 million bail after more than a month in custody, saw his movements tightly regulated by the court, which also slapped him with a gag order prohibiting him from mentioning Sharon’s name.

The county chief, however, spent another night in remand as he was unable to process his bail terms. His lawyer said they were unable to handle it before close of business.

Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit’s decision means the governor will be restricted to his Migori backyard, with the risk of being sent back to detention if he violates an order not to travel outside a 20-kilometre radius of his home.

“The court will be at liberty to cancel his bail terms if it is notified that the accused person has breached any of the conditions imposed,” ruled Justice Lesiit.

Obado, his personal assistant, Michael Oyamo, and the Migori County clerk, Caspal Obiero, have been jointly charged with the murder of Sharon Otieno and her seven-month-old foetus, which was posthumously named Baby Sharon.

Whereas the governor was lucky to be released pending trial, his co-accused were denied bail.

Justice Lesiit released Obado on a cash bail of Sh5 million with two sureties of the same amount and ordered to deposit all his travelling documents with the court.

A governor, being the chief executive of a county, is entitled to foreign travel to seek partnerships and investment opportunities, but Obado will have to seek the court’s permission before making any such trips.

“He must deposit in court his passport and diplomatic passport, if he has any, and seek the court’s permission if he wants to leave the court’s jurisdiction,” ruled Justice Lesiit.

To confirm his availability and presence in the country, the judge ordered Obado to report to High Court’s deputy registrar once every month.

The governor will also find it difficult to handle functions and addressing issues affecting areas in his county that fall outside the 20-kilometre restricted radius. In such instances, he will have the option of either sending a representative or risk having his bail cancelled.

Obado’s relationship with Sharon’s family will also be tested given the prosecution’s case that he had an affair with Sharon, leading to her pregnancy.

“He must refrain from mentioning the deceased in any forum or public gathering and must also not contact, intimidate or threaten the deceased’s parents and siblings in any way,” ruled the judge.

Sharon’s mother, Melida Auma, in her affidavit to oppose the bail application, had stated that the family was living in fear after a family member was accosted by five people who wanted to abduct him, but he managed to escape.

It will also be a challenge for the governor to interact with some of his employees listed as prosecution witnesses in the case after Justice Lesiit restrained him from contacting any of them.

Deputy Director of Public Prosecution Jacob Ondari said 30 witnesses were lined up and gave the accused men’s lawyers statements from 24 witnesses.

The prosecution had opposed Obado’s release on fears that he might interfere with witnesses. The judge scheduled a pre-trial conference for February 14 next year while the hearing with be held from May 6 to May 17.

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