Governor Okoth Obado to remain in police custody

Embattled Migori Governor Zachary Okoth Obado will remain in police custody until Friday when his bail application will be determined.

Obado was Thursday morning produced in a Kibera court after spending a night in police cells to answer to charges of illegal possession of firearms.

Kibera chief magistrate Joyce Gandani said she will give directions on Friday with the prosecution seeking to hold Obado for 15 days to conclude investigations. But as Obado woes deepened in the city, his supporters were demonstrating against his arrest in Migori County.

The governor was arrested on Wednesday by the Special Crime Prevention Unit at a Nairobi hotel. The prosecution team has sought to have the embattled Governor detained for two weeks in the case of illegal possession of firearms.

The prosecution team led by Catherine Mwaniki argued that the 15 days sought will allow them run conclusive investigations in a bid to prefer among other charges; possible ownership of firearms without valid certificates and possession of ammunitions.

However, Obado’s lawyer Cliff Ombeta opposed the application saying that Obado lives in an expansive homestead with extended family who are gun owners, and that picking on him is malicious.

Ombeta also told the courts that detaining the governor for 15 days will be violating his dignity as envisaged in article 28 of the constitution.

Obado was taken back to  Gigiri police station where he was locked up after one of the three guns found at his Migori home was found to be unregistered.

The governor was arrested after Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives found eight guns in his homes in Migori and Nairobi while looking for documents in a two billion shillings corruption scandal probe.

EACC detectives were reportedly looking for documents to help establish claims that he might have siphoned over 2.5 billion shillings from the county’s coffers.

The detectives who are said to be in three groups accompanied by several police officers camped at the two premises trying to uncover any evidence that could pin down the governor.

Director of communication in the office of the governor Nicholas Anyuor confirmed the raid. The raid by the EACC detectives comes several months after a similar raid was mounted at the home and offices of governor Obado’s close allies in Migori County.

According to EACC, part of the looted funds were channeled to accounts of Governor Obado’s children in Australia, Hong Kong and China.

In September 2018, EACC obtained court orders to freeze bank accounts of Governor Obado and his brothers; Jared Peter Odoyo Oluoch Kwaga, Ernest Omondi Owino and Joram Opala Otieno.

Obado was on September 21 arrested in connection with the murder of Rongo university student Sharon Otieno and remanded for 33 days at the Industrial Area prison.

The pre-trial hearing on the murder case was set for February 14, 2019.

Meanwhile,  the Orange Democratic Movement party Migori branch has expelled the embattled governor terming his woes as an embarrassment to the party.

The branch’s disciplinary committee chairperson Joseph Muniko say the governor has engaged in endless criminal acts that have brought the party to disrepute both locally and internationally.

 

  

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