Home General There’s little chance Obado will lose his seat – lawyers

There’s little chance Obado will lose his seat – lawyers

by kenya-tribune

Migori governor Okoth Obado stands little chance of losing his job, lawyers say as his trial for the murder of Rongo University student Sharon Otieno starts today.

There is panic in the governor’s inner circle that he may be remanded for a long time, putting his job as the county chief at stake.

Already, a section of the civil society has started pushing for Obado’s resignation, citing Chapter Six of the Constitution on leadership and integrity.

Nairobi LSK chairman Charles Kanjama said while any offence is bailable, the judge has the discretion to grant it or not.

Kanjama said there are hundreds of murder suspects who have been denied bail.

The lawyer said among Obado’s biggest threats would be MCAs, who can kick off impeachment proceedings. “If the county assembly feels that a governor is engaged in gross misconduct, they don’t need to wait for the criminal trial to end, they can begin the political process of removing the governor,” he said.

City lawyer Soyinka Lempaa yesterday said the Judiciary lowered the integrity threshold when it allowed President Uhuru Kenyatta and DP William Ruto to contest for the presidency in 2013.

See: EACC freezes Obado accounts over graft

At the time, the two leaders were facing crimes against humanity charges at The Hague.

“One of Article 50 rights is the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. Uhuru and Ruto were able to use that to vie for the presidency and deputy presidency, when they were charged with crimes against humanity… crimes against humanity are more serious offences,” Lempaa told the Star.

precedent set

He said Obado will easily get bail because a precedent has been set. “So Obado will be charged tomorrow [Monday] and by Tuesday he will be back in office because we expect him as governor to have a lot of money to give cash bail of even Sh5 million or whatever amount,” the lawyer said.

Lempaa gave the example of EALA MP Simon Mbugua, who was charged with robbery with violence against businessman Timothy Muriuki, but is out on bail.

“Going by that precedent, there is no way you can say Obado’s job is at risk, because he is going to be charged with murder…robbery with violence itself carries a death sentence,” he said.

Throughout his six-year stint as governor, Obado has always courted controversy, finding himself on the wrong side of Nyanza politics.

The county boss has repeatedly locked horns with the region’s political kingpin Raila Odinga and his allies, among them Suna East MP Junet Mohamed.

In the run-up to the 2013 election, Obado defied Raila’s six-piece calls by ditching ODM and accused the opposition chief of imposing his preferred candidate, Akong’o Oyugi on Migori people. He defeated Oyugi in the election on the People’s Democratic Party.

Obado’s election on the PDP ticket led to his gravitating towards DP Ruto, until he rejoined ODM ahead of the 2017 elections.

goons disrupted rally

But that was not his last major clash with ODM bigwigs.

As ODM nominations grew closer, goons said to be allied to Obado stormed Migori Stadium and violently disrupted a campaign rally led by Mombasa governor Hassan Joho.

Read: Obado to be charged with Sharon’s murder, DCI confirms

The campaign was meant to drum up support for his then opponent, former Energy minister Ochillo Ayacko.

His rivalry with Ayacko was revived after the former minister was cleared by ODM to contest the Migori senator seat. The seat was left vacant following the death of former radio broadcaster Oluoch Okello. The by-election will be held on October 8.

Obado is a trained teacher and was formerly the director of Kenya Sugar Board.

He has a Bachelor of Education degree and a Master’s degree in Strategic Management both from Kenyatta University.

Read: Obado loved Sharon and couldn’t murder her, his lawyer protests

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