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BY JOAN WANJIKU,NAIROBI,31ST AUG 2020-Migori Governor Okoth Obado and his four children have been freed on Ksh.18.25million cash bail after they denied Ksh.73million fraud charges.
The court ruled that their liberty be upheld as each case must be considered on its own merit.
“I will consider the amount each of the accused person in the charges and the number of charges. COVID-19 is also a factor to be considered,” Senior Principal Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi said.
The Prosecution had objected to the release of Obado and his co-accused on cash bail saying that they were likely to abscond court.
They noted that Obado is a man of status and influence adding that some of his employees are witnesses in the case.
“Likelihood of interference is real. There was fire incident as investigations were going on,” the Prosecution said.
However, Lawyer Kioko Kilikumi argued that the offenses are bailable and that there is no single government that the accused will abscond court.
He further insisted that there was no concrete evidence to show that they could interfere with witnesses.
Nobody was identified as responsible for the fire and dismissed the allegations by the prosecution. He was released on bail in the murder case and has never absconded court,” Kilukumi said.
The lawyer was referring to the Sharon Otieno murder case.
On Monday, Magistrate Mugambi ruled that an appropriate condition can be placed to avoid the issue of interference of witnesses.
He also agreed with the Defense team’s argument on the fire incident saying no one has been pointed out or connected to it.
The court however directed that Obado be barred from accessing the Migori County office and that he should pick his personal belongings under police escort.
The Governor has also been ordered to surrender his passports to the court, not travel outside the country and not interfere with witnesses.
He and his co-accused who include four of his children were arraigned at a Nairobi court on Monday after spending the weekend in police custody.
Obado is accused of benefiting indirectly from Ksh.73.4 million paid to his children.
Investigations revealed that the children received payments from companies that traded with the Migori County Government between 2013 and 2017 when Obado served his first term.