Obado wants Sharon's family lawyer disqualified from murder trial

Governor says George Wajackoyah has privileged information that might be used against him

In Summary

Trial might delay after judge sets application hearing for Monday, the day previously set for the start of trial hearings

Suspects Michael Oyamo, Caspal Obiero and Governor Okoth Obado in court
APPREHENSIVE: Suspects Michael Oyamo, Caspal Obiero and Governor Okoth Obado in court
Image: FILE

The Sharon Otieno murder trial could be delayed after Migori Governor Okoth Obado asked that a lawyer representing her family be disqualified.

The trial is scheduled to start on Monday with two protected witnesses taking the stand.

But Obado wants Professor George Wajackoyah disqualified, saying the lawyer holds privileged information. The governor told the court on Wednesday he was apprehensive the information will be used against him in the proceedings.

The application was to be heard on Wednesday but failed to proceed after lawyer Fred Ngatia failed to appear because he was engaged elsewhere.

Ngatia is representing, Micheal Oyamo, one of the accused persons in the case.

Justice Ngenye Macharia directed that the parties appear before her on Monday for hearing of Obado's application. 

Obado said that on September 23 last year, two days after his arrest, Wajackoyah paid him a visit at the Gigiri police station and sought his instructions on the case.


He said Wajackoyah intimated to him that he had done a lot of consultancy work with the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.


“Wajackoyah showed me correspondence between himself and the two offices and I was convinced that indeed he had good knowledge in criminal law practice. He further confirmed that the two offices nevertheless cleared him to represent me,” Obado said.

Obado said he instructed Wajackoyah to represent him in the case and that he discussed details the lawyer and Rogers Sagana who was also part of his defense team.

When Obado was arraigned on September 24 last year, there were several other counsels acting for him and when the quorum was taken, Wajackoyah's name was excluded even though he was present in court, the governor said.

“The advocate took serious issue with the omission of his name from the quorum and informed me as much. In the subsequent court appearance, he came to court and introduced himself as the advocate for the victims. He continues to be on record for the victims to date,” Obado's affidavit says.

He said it was his belief that the advocate’s representation of the victims is aimed at advancing mischief against him since there is a glaring conflict of interests.

Wajackoyah has denied the claim, saying at no point has he ever solicited, asked, requested or in any other way sought to be instructed by Obado to represent him in the case.

Obado, 60, his personal assistant Oyamo, 40, and Caspal Obiero, a clerk in the Migori county government, have denied murdering Sharon.

The 26-year-old Rongo University student and her unborn baby were killed on the night of September 3 last year, at Owade in Homa Bay.

The prosecution intends to call 42 witnesses. The trial is set to begin on December 2.  

Edited by p. obuya

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