RESPOND TO AUDIT QUERIES

Obado dares police to escort him to face Senate committee

On May 6, the Migori governor failed to honor summons and has been re-summoned to appear on June 4

In Summary

•Obado was speaking on Friday at Rapogi village in Uriri constituency during the funeral of Mzee Oketch Orindo which was also attended by his political nemesis, Senator Ochillo Ayacko.

•During the Kisii special sitting, Obado failed to turn up with Ayacko terming it as an act of impunity and gross insubordination.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado
Migori Governor Okoth Obado
Image: FILE

Migori Governor Okoth Obado has dared police to escort him before a senate committee investigating the audit queries raised in his administration.

Obado was speaking on Friday at Rapogi village in Uriri constituency during the funeral of Mzee Oketch Orindo which was also attended by his political nemesis, Senator Ochillo Ayacko.

Ayacko is the chairman of the Senate's Public Accounts Committee.

On May 6 Obado refused to honour summons to appear before the committee in a special sitting in Kisii county together with his executives.

He has been re-summoned to appear before the committee on June 4.

Obado and Ayacko have been political rivals since they both vied for the governor seat in the 2017 general elections in campaigns that were marred with violence and disputed election results in the court petition.

During the funeral, Ayacko who spoke first walked away when Obado rose to speak and started to popularize the People Democratic Party which he recently decamped to from ODM.

“Sadly, the senator who I wanted to address has left, I heard that on June 4, I will be arrested if I don’t honour the summons, I want to tell him I am waiting for the police to arrest and escort me,” he said.

Obado said those who have been having divergent voices in the region have risk being arrested.

During the Kisii special sitting, Obado failed to appear with Ayacko terming it as an act of impunity and gross insubordination.

“The committee would opt to use powers invested before it to ask the police to pick him up,” warned Ayacko then, a statement which irked the governor.

“He has to choose to voluntarily come with his executives or be escorted by the police.”

The funeral was the first public meeting the two leaders had after the May 6 failed sitting.

However, speaking to the Star in Migori town, Ayacko distanced himself from directly responding to governor remarks over arrest if he fails to honour Senate summons.

“I left the funeral while he was speaking because he started drumming up support for his PDP outfit and called even ex-MCAs from Homa Bay to address the gathering, I couldn’t take part to listen to mediocrity,” he said.

He said the senate committee was just reacting to an auditor general report, and it was an institution devoid of personal matters.

“As leaders, we pass through offices and others take over, but democratic institutions remain. I respect Obado as the governor with authority to work. The Senate too has its authority,” Ayacko said.

Obado is required to answer a string of audit queries touching on unreconciled bank balances of Sh1.3 billion from his administration.

He is further required to explain a slew of irregular payments of legal fees amounting to Sh1.5 billion.

The county is also in the eye of a storm over the unexplained acquisition of assets of Sh1.7 billion.

In the auditor report 2018/2019 financial report, the Obado administration is said to irregularly transfer more than Sh60 million as scholarship and other educational benefits amounting to Sh59 million.

Obado is no stranger to being arrested and charged before the court in his two-term stint as Migori governor since he was elected in 2013.

In August last year, Obado and his four children availed themselves at Kisii EACC offices where they were placed in custody and later charged before Milimani Law Courts in fraud-related charges.

He was later released on Sh8.7million cash bail.

On November 14, 2018, Obado was arrested as he was leaving a hotel in Nairobi and questioned over 8 guns that were found in his house by EACC detectives during a raid in search of evidence on corruption.

In September of the same year, Obado was also arrested and charged before the court to face murder charges over the death of Sharon Otieno and their unborn child.

The governor has insisted the arrests have been politically instigated.

 

Edited by Kiilu Damaris