42 witnesses later, Okoth Obado murder trial wraps up hearing of testimonies

Okoth Obado

Former Migori Governor Okoth Obado and (inset) the late Sharon Otieno.

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • In the course of the six-year-old case, a total of 42 witnesses testified.
  • Lead defence lawyer to submit for no case to answer in favour of Obado.

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Renson Ingonga on Friday closed the murder case of university student Sharon Otieno against former Migori Governor Okoth Obado.

In the course of the six-year-old case, a total of 42 witnesses testified.

Immediately after the closure of the trial, lead defence lawyer, Senior Counsel Kioko Kilukumi, told Justice Cecilia Githua that “he would submit for no case to answer in favour of Obado.”

“Your Ladyship Justice Githua, I will be making submissions for no case to answer against Obado then urge this court to acquit him since evidence tendered herein exonerates him from the murder," Kilukumi said.

Sharon and her unborn baby boy were killed on the night of September 3, 2018.

On the part of the DPP, prosecution counsel Gikui Gichuhi and Allen Mulama will be asking the court to make a finding that Obado, his former personal assistant Michael Oyamo and a former Migori county employee Caspal Obiero have a case to answer and should be put on their defence.

Ms Gichuhi and Mr Mulama presented evidence showing that Oyamo is the one who liased with Sharon on the fateful day before she rode a vehicle which drove her to the death field in Homa Bay.

The vehicle is owned by Obiero’s wife Olive Odhiambo Oloo.

Lead Investigator Nicholas Ole Sena told Justice Githua that investigations which he conducted revealed that Sharon was in the company of a journalist who jumped from the speeding vehicle leaving the pregnant student with her kidnappers who later murdered her together with her unborn child in a forest.

Wrapping up his testimony, lead detective Ole Sena told the court that Sharon's pregnancy came to be known to Obado's wife during their London trip.

“You were asked by defence lawyers about the secret relationship between Obado and Sharon. What did you establish during your probe,” Ms Gichuhi asked Ole Sena.

In response the detective said: “The wife (Obado’s wife) knew about the affair when they were together in London, Britain.”

The officer also told the court that there were interactions between Obado’s son and Sharon.

Ole Sena further told the court that at some point Sharon sent some scanned pictures to Obado's son which he shared with the family.

The detective said Oyamo asked the journalist whom he identified as XYZ and Sharon to board the vehicle driven Jackson Gombe who was employed by Olive Oloo the wife Caspal Obiero.

He said the case was of great public interest since it involved a sitting governor.

Ole Sena confirmed to Justice Githua that Obado was at Raila Odinga’s Karen home Nairobi on September 3, 2018 between 5pm and 9pm.

His evidence corroborated by call data records obtained from Safaricom and produced in court by one of their employees which show that throughout the night of September 2, 2018 to September 5, 2018, Obado was in Nairobi.

Officer Quinto Odeo Etyang, who testified on May 13, 2023, produced Safaricom records which captured Obado in Nairobi at 18.27hrs.

“I confirm that throughout the night of September 2, 2018 and going to September 3, 2018, the subscriber (Obado) spent the night in Nairobi,” said the witness.

The situation was the same till September 5, 2018. 

Results of a DNA test conducted on the slain foetus conclusively showed that Obado was the father of the unborn child.

In his testimony, Ole Sena said they have no evidence to prove that Obado was involved, or had knowledge or consent of Sharon's abduction.

There was also no evidence that Obado was involved in the abduction of the journalist who was in the company of Sharon on the night she met her death.

"We don't have any knowledge or evidence that Obado participated in the killing of the deceased," Ole Sena said.

At the same time, Justice Githua has allowed Obado to visit China between June 20, 2024 and July 4, 2024.

The judge directed the deputy registrar to give Obado his passport then return it on July 9, 2024 after the Chinese trip.

Obado, Oyamo and Obiero have denied murdering Sharon and her unborn child on the night of September 3, 2018 at a forest in Homa Bay County. The accused persons are out on bond.

The judge will communicate on the date the defence and prosecution will appear virtually for submissions of no case to answer.