Former Migori Governor Okoth Obado
Former Migori Governor Okoth Obado

Former Migori Governor Okoth Obado, his four kids, and accused associates were dealt a significant setback when the anti-corruption court denied their plea for a preliminary hearing in a fraud case involving Ksh505 million. This was a severe setback for the group.

The elevation of former magistrate Lawrence Mugambi to a judge on the High Court, which occurred the previous year, served as the motivation for their plea.

As Mugambi was elevated to a higher position, the case was sent to a new judge named Victor Wakumile to preside over it in the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi.

Obado and his co-accused participants appeared before Wakumile and pleaded with the prosecution to make it possible for the lawsuit to be reopened.

Their argument was that the magistrate was required to conduct his own evaluation of the substantiation and have the chance to watch the demeanor of potential jurors before rendering a verdict.

"The accused people have the right to elect how to continue in front of a new judicial officer, as provided for in Section 200 of the Criminal Process Code (CPC)," which states: "Either to continue from the point where the hearing had stopped or to begin from scratch (afresh)."


"A new hearing has been requested by the defendants in this matter," the defense lawyer, Peter Ario, informed the judge.

"The approaching judicial officer does not merely gather evidence from witnesses; in addition to this, the entering judicial officer observes the witness's demeanor." According to what he said, there would be no unfair advantage gained by restarting this trial.

However, in a brief ruling, Wakumile denied Obado and his accomplices' request to have the case started over from scratch, stating that they were unlikely to adopt any racist attitudes because the first witness in the case had not yet completed his testimony in chief. This was done in response to the fact that the first witness in the case has not yet completed his testimony.

The statement made by Magistrate Wakumile was as follows: "To me, starting again this case will be an affront to the judicial proceedings; I, therefore, order the case to proceed from where it had stopped, and proceedings in the matter should be typed to enable the court to familiarize itself with the previous proceedings."

He said that the requirements of Section 200 of the CPC were not required, and he argued that beginning the case all over again would be equivalent to postponing justice since it had already taken so much time in court.

The parties have come to an agreement that the requirements of Section 200 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) are not written in obligatory words. "It has been two years since we started hearing parts of the evidence," stated the magistrate, Wakhumile.

"If we begin the case from its foundations, it may consume all our energy and time, and we would be in violation of Article 159(b) of the Constitution, which states that the administration of justice shall not be impeded." He determined that starting again would be a violation of Article 159(h) of the Constitution.

The prosecutor's first testimony had not yet been completed when the magistrate made his observation; therefore, the hearing was still in its early stages. The magistrate noted that the trial was currently in the formative phase.

"Regarding conduct, the witness has not yet finished testifying and will yet appear in court." "If we were to begin from scratch, there is a good likelihood that we would violate Article 159 of the Constitution in doing so," the judge was quoted as saying.

According to the provisions of the statute, there should be no delay in the administration of justice. When the dates for the hearings are scheduled to be determined on April 25, the matter will be discussed online.

The state has prepared 59 testifying witnesses, and the first charges against the family were brought in 2018.

According to what the court has heard, the first witness for the prosecution has been testifying since January of 2020.

Robert Rono, who will be the first witness for the prosecution, was the investigating officer in this case. Since January 2020, it has been two years since his testimony began, yet it is just halfway complete.

Nevertheless, the prosecutor, Eva Kanyuira, argued against the motion to have the case reopened, stating that it was in the best interest of justice for the case to be resolved in the shortest amount of time feasible.

She claimed that the trial was moving at a snail's pace due to a communication breakdown and a large amount of paperwork under the control of the investigating officer.

She claimed that one of the charged, Peninah Auma, cannot comprehend either English or Kiswahili, and thus the hearings in court need to be translated for her in Luo.

"Some of the documents were taken without the notice of the court. One of the reasons the Director of Public Prosecutions is requesting that the case be continued from where it is now is that the records are somewhat lengthy and cumbersome. You also brought up the fact that we are required to ask an interpreter to participate in these proceedings; this is one of the reasons why the evidence of the first witness has taken up so much time.

"Because of this procedural issue, we strongly suggest that the court give consideration to allowing this case to go forward," Kanyuira told the court.

The prosecution argued that they were still on the first witness, whose testimony had reached the halfway point, and that the court would still have the opportunity to see and observe the witness in question. However, this argument was rejected by the prosecution as a basis for judging the witness's demeanor.

The prosecution said that they wanted this case to continue moving forward from where it was. "Some added information before the trial volumed the matter, thus moving forward, which was another argument over the stalled graft case," the prosecutor added.

In this particular case, Obado is accused of fraudulently defrauding the government of Migori County out of a combined total of Ksh505.6 million, along with his four children: Dan Okoth, Scarlet Okoth, Jerry Okoth, and Evelyne Okoth, as well as his purportedly close associates Jared Kwaga, Joram Opala, and Patroba Ochanda.

In addition, there are Carolyne Anyango, Tarchdog Printers Ltd., Kajulu Business Ltd., and Dolphus Software Ltd., as well as Christine Ochola and Peninah Auma.

The county administrator and his accomplice are being charged with a total of 26 offenses, including financial fraud, potential conflicts of interest, illegal purchase of public property, and conspiracy to conduct corruption cases.

According to the allegations made by the prosecution, the defendants reportedly obtained a total of Ksh505.6 million via corrupt means by using six different corporations.

The prosecution claims that Obado and his co-accused participated in a complex scheme to funnel money.

This strategy entailed the awarding of contracts to companies, which resulted in the companies receiving payments totaling millions of shillings.

These payments were then interconnected back to the governor through his kids, who were away at school.

Post a Comment

What is your say on this

Previous Post Next Post