ODM resolves to impeach Governor Obado

Tuesday, September 1st, 2020 19:03 | By
Migori Governor Okoth Obado at the Milimani Anti-Corruption Court. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

The Orange Democratic Movement (ODM) party has resolved to move an impeachment motion against the embattled Migori Governor Okoth Obado over the graft charges facing him.

The party on Tuesday said it has resolved to impeach Obado after consultations with Migori Members of County Assembly (MCAs).

"Due to corruption charges leveled against Governor Okoth Obado and the decision by the court to bar him from accessing his office, the party in consultations with County MCAs has resolved to have a motion of impeachment against the governor initiated immediately and have the Deputy Governor take over," the ODM party tweeted Tuesday evening.

Obado and his four children are facing corruption charges over an alleged embezzlement of taxpayers' Sh73.5 million.

Migori Governor Okoth Obado and his children were on Monday released on Sh18.2 million bond after spending five days in police cells. 

His co-accused were also freed on bail with a raft of stringent measures. 

A Nairobi court slapped Obado and his two sons and daughters Sh18.2 million cash bail besides blocking the governor from setting foot in the county offices.

Obado alone was granted a Sh8.7 million cash bail or a Sh20 million bond with a similar surety.

His children are Dan Okoth, Scarlet Okoth, Jerry Okoth and Everlyne Adhiambo  were separately granted cash bail ranging between Sh2 million, Sh3 million, Sh2 million and Sh2 million respectively or alternative Sh4 million bond.

One of Obado’s co-accused, Jared Oluoch, was granted a Sh8.5 million cash bail or a Sh15 million bond with a surety of similar amount.

Other accused persons were granted cash bail of up to Sh5.5 million or a Sh10 million bond with sureties of similar amounts.

One of the suspects, Peninah Otango, 72, whose company has been charged with receiving money from the county government was granted a Sh6 million cash bail. 

While granting the accused persons bail, Milimani Chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi also directed that Obado could only be escorted to his office by police to pick his personal items. 

Mugambi also ordered Obado and his children to deposit their passports in court.

Mugambi further fired a warning to the accused not to interfere with witnesses in the case.

Magistrate at the same time directed investigating officer to forward the particulars of the passports to the Immigration Department.

 Separately denied

Mugambi said the court had considered the submissions from both defense and Prosecution. He said offences the accused are facing are serious.

The Governor and his children have denied 28 counts of money laundering, abuse of office and obtaining public property, which led to the loss of Sh73 million from the county government.

Obado and his four children face majority of the charges preferred by the Prosecution led by State prosecutor Victor Mule.

He has separately denied charges of receiving millions of shillings from the companies, which did business with the county government, and from which monies were wired to pay for the overseas education of his four children.

Obado’s daughter, Everlyne, also faced charges of benefiting from the monies paid out to the companies, which traded with the county.  All the accused persons denied a common charge of conspiring and unlawful acquisition of public funds amounting to Sh73 million belonging Migori county government.

Earlier, a team of defense lawyers led by Kioko Kilukumi urged the court to free their clients on bond saying the “golden rule for all suspects is that they be released on bond upon arraignment regardless of the offence.”

 Kilukumi said prior to the promulgation of the 2010 Constitution, persons facing capital offences were never released on bond, but now every offender accesses this fundamental right.

The Senior Counsel urged the magistrate to invoke Article 49 (1) (h), which vests the court with authority to exercise its discretion by releasing Obado and the others on bond unless there are compelling reasons.

“No compelling reasons have been advanced by the Prosecution to warrant the denial of the suspects on bond,” said Kilukumi. Case to be mentioned on September 21 for further direction.

Additional reporting by Alphonse Mungahu

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