BY NAMULONGO PETER,NAIROBI,25TH SEPT,2018-The ruling for Governor Okoth Obado’s application for bail in the murder trial of a Rongo University student is now set for Thursday.
Lady Justice Jessie Lessit of the Criminal Division gave the directive on Tuesday when Obado who is standing trial for the murder of 26-year-old Sharon Otieno returned to court for a bail application, a day after he was charged with the murder.
During the Tuesday court session, the State hinted at adding an addendum to Obado’s charge sheet to include the murder of a seven-month old foetus, Sharon was carrying when she was murdered on September 3.
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.
Obado will remain at the Industrial Area Remand centre pending the ruling.
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.”
Muteti gave the indication even as he presented Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji’s objection to a bail application by Obado on grounds that he could interfere with witnesses.
Obado was charged had pleaded not guilty to murder when he was charged on Monday.
In an affidavit by Clement Mwangi, a detective attached to the homicide section of the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI), the State said there was a high likelihood of Obado interfering and intimidating key witnesses in the murder trial.
According to Mwangi, detectives were still compiling further information including an impending interrogation county staff, and Obado’s family members.
“The release of the accused person on bail pending hearing and determination of the trial is not absolute and is at the discretion of the court,” Mwangi pleaded.
Further, the prosecution said Obado’s release could pose extreme danger to witnesses in the matter and the society at large.
Mwangi also indicated in his affidavit that Sharon’s family is under threats and intimidation.
He told the court the threats on the family of the slain student are believed to be originating from Obado.
Mwangi also said detectives were seeking hit men who are still at large.
He told the court there was evidence linking the three to the commission of the murder.
“Investigations reveal that the State has a very strong case and the accused and his accomplices,” the prosecution told the court.
Lawyers Roger Sagana and Cliff Ombeta faulted the Directorate of Public Prosecution for seeking to shutdown the application yet it did not made an application to further detain Obado.
Ombeta cited Article 49 (1) (h) of the Constitution which provides for the release of arrested persons, “on reasonable conditions, pending a charge or trial, unless there are compelling reasons not to be released.”
Lady Justice Lessit Monday ordered Obado to be held at the Industrial Area Remand center after he denied murdering Sharon, whose body was found at a forest in Homa Bay on September 4.