• Justice Ngenye said the victim's family is at liberty to engage other lawyers.
• The application succeeded after Obado argued that Wajakoyah holds privileged information and may use it against him.
The High Court has barred professor George Wajakoya from representing the family of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno in the murder trial.
Justice Ngenye Macharia ruled that Wajakoya is privy to some information and having him in the case would violate Migori Governor Okoth Obado's right to a fair trial.
Ngenye said the victim's family is at liberty to engage other lawyers.
The application succeeded after Obado argued that Wajakoyah holds privileged information and may use it against him.
Obado, through lawyers Kioko Kilukumi and Rogers Sagana, told Justice Macharia 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.
Kilukumi said Wajackoyah told his client 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 of criminal law practice. He further confirmed that the two offices nevertheless cleared him to represent me,” Obado said.
The governor said he instructed Wajackoyah to represent him in the case and that he discussed details of the case with him and Sagana.
When Obado was arraigned on September 24 last year, there were several other lawyers 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 read.
“It’s our contention that Wajackoyah can’t represent two parties in a dispute whose positions are in conflict. That would be considered misconduct requiring disciplinary action. We urge you to hold and find that Wajackoyah had a conflict of interest and will be unsuitable to appear before you,” Kilukumi said.
But Wajackoyah, through lawyer Duncan Okatch, said Obado’s intention is to re-victimise the victims and to scuttle the trial.
He said he has offered his services on a pro bono basis and the family is comfortable with him representing them.