A Nairobi court is set to rule whether it will allow the DPP to present 500 new documentary evidence in Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s graft case.
The DPP has told the court that they intend to introduce 500 new documents as evidence in the trial. Also, the court will determine whether it will allow the DPP to amend the charge sheet so that Obado and his co-accused can take plea afresh. The DPP told chief magistrate Lawrence Mugambi that it will be important to allow their application before the court.
Lawyer Kioko Kilukumi, representing Obado, said they were not opposed to the application. However, lawyer George Kithi representing Jared Kwaga opposed the application, saying it was against the law in the matter to amend the charges and that it is against Article 50 of the Constitution. Kithi added that he had not seen anywhere in the affidavit where it has been pointed out that the charge sheet is defective. He said the court had no basis in the law to allow the amendment of the charge sheet as had been asked by the prosecution.
Meanwhile, EACC investigating officer Robert Ronoh told the court that Obado stole Sh2.6 billion during his first term in office. He added that the agency received information that the allegation was of misappropriation of public money at the county of Migori, whereby companies that are associated with close family members were awarded tenders to the tune of Sh2.6 billion between 2013-14 and 2016-17 financial years.
Ronoh also told the court that in 2013 general election, when Obado was elected governor, 23 companies of interest were registered after a few months and were all linked to family members, friends and close associates of the governor. Obado and his proxies allegedly benefited from the funds through awarding tenders to these companies by the Migori County government.
Obado, his four children and other accused persons have denied the charges.
The resumption of graft cases of serving governors caught up in corruption cases, is a positive move by the anti-graft agencies and the government because it will sensitize electorates in the upcoming 2022 general elections.
Kenyans should vote in leaders of integrity and re-elect leaders who have no record of corruption or has been mentioned in any graft case. Use of proxies and relatives to loot public coffers by government officials continues to rob Kenyans service delivery. The long arm of law should not leave any of the officials and their implicated family members when convicting them.