Migori governor Okoth Obado yesterday denied he was involved in the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno.
By the time of going to press, he was under arrest and was being driven in a police vehicle to Nairobi. Unconfirmed reports indicate he will be charged this morning.
Obado told the police in Kisumu that he too was interested in knowing Sharon’s killers. The police questioned him for more than eight hours. His lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Roger Sagana said their client was innocent but told the police what he knew about the case.
“He is not involved in any way and does not want to speculate,” Sagana said.
Sharon’s family has said Obado had a sexual relationship with their daughter, who was found dead in Kodera Forest last Wednesday.
The seven-month pregnant woman had been raped and stabbed eight times; three times in the neck, four times in the back and in the left side of her abdomen. There has been pressure on the investigators to record a statement from Obado who, until, yesterday had remained silent.
It was unclear whether Obado had been arrested. While police escorted him out of the station in their cars, his lawyers denied that he had been arrested. His statement was about 10 pages long.
“He was not arrested. He was summoned to record a statement but once we were done, they released him. They told him that they may call him again if need be,” Ombeta said.
It was not also immediately clear if the police took DNA samples from Obado, but Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said Obado will undergo DNA tests as part of the investigation. Homicide officials were spotted entering Kisumu police station with their equipment.
Nation journalist Barrack Oduor, who implicated Obado, was also at the police station. The journalist said he had contacted Obado to confirm whether he had an affair with Sharon. Obado is expected to address a media conference today.
Obado arrived at the Kisumu regional police headquarters in his Toyota Land Cruiser and headed straight to the DCI’s regional office.
The governor, who has been adversely mentioned in the case and whose personal assistant Michael Oyamo is in remand, did not address the media before or after the questioning. Earlier in the day there was confusion at the High Court in Homa Bay after Oyamo failed to show up as had been ordered by senior resident magistrate Lester Simiyu on Monday.
When he was finally presented, the court released him, but the police arrested him again, bundled him into a car and sped off to Kisumu.
Oyamo could be moved to Nairobi where he may be charged with various offences.
Homa Bay DCIO Joseph Tuksho said they decided to transfer the case from Homa Bay to avoid creating more tension. “It was realised that the matter is very sensitive and could cause more tension if the case was heard here,” Tuksho said.
Oyamo was arrested last Tuesday in connection with the abduction of Oduor and murder of Sharon. His lawyers Neville Amolo, June Ashioya and Rogers Abisai protested against the transfer. Amolo accused the police of keeping them in the dark.
He also accused the police of violating an order which required Oyamo to appear in court.
Yesterday, Obado was accompanied by county secretary Christopher Rusana and his communications officers. Rusana left shortly after midday. Security was beefed up at the DCI offices with plainclothes and uniformed officers strategically positioned.
Members of the public milled outside the DCI offices to catch a glimpse of Obado as a battery of journalists camped at the premises.
Oduor spent the whole day inside a white Land Cruiser, KBZ 592Y. Sources within the police said he was brought to Kisumu under the escort of detectives on Monday evening.
He was reportedly brought to pick the clothes he wore when he jumped out of the abductors’ moving car. Detectives also collected samples from him.