Governor Obado to remain in remand;bail ruling set for Thursday

Migori Governor Okoth Obado
Migori Governor Okoth Obado

The ruling of Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s bail application will be given on Thursday afternoon, as directed by High Court Judge Jessie Lessit. He is set to spend two more nights in remand at the Industrial Area prison, where he was taken on Monday after he denied the charges levelled against him surrounding the gruesome murder of the late Sharon Otieno.

On Tuesday, Obado was arraigned at the Milimani Law Courts and the defence lawyer Cliff Ombeta insisted that the accused has the right to receive bail and said the prosecution’s affidavit presented before the court wasn’t compelling enough. He said they cited a capital offence, yet it’s common knowledge that the accused has been charged with a capital offence. Moreover, he maintained that once a person has been brought to court, his right to bail is self-activating, “Article 49 is clear that any accused person or suspect brought to Court shall be entitled to bail,” he said.

However, the prosecution opposed Obado’s release on bail, saying he is a person of influence and may interfere with witnesses and compromise the security of suspects yet to appear in court. The prosecution argued that Article 49 doesn’t state that the right to bail or bond is an absolute right and that neither the constitution nor the CPC provides what is the compelling reason that may deny an accused person bond.

Deputy DPP Jacob Ondari said the presumption of innocence is being violated to release the accused on bond or bail, “The presumption of innocence doesn’t mean one can commit an offence, a grave one, at will, and brag that he is innocent until proven guilty,” he said. The prosecution was also quick to note that they’ll amend the charge sheet to include the charge of murdering the late Sharon’s unborn baby, with DNA tests already done. Lawyer Alexander Muteti saying that life begins at conception and the baby’s life was cut short during the murder.