Migori Governor Okoth Obado has been freed by a Nairobi Court on Ksh.8.75m cash bail after he denied Ksh.73million fraud charges.
The court ruled that his liberty be upheld as each case must be considered on its own merit.
“I will consider the amount each of the accused person in the charges and the number of charges. COVID-19 is also a factor to be considered,” Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi ruled.
The Prosecution objected to the release of Obado and his co-accused on cash bail saying that they were likely to abscond court.
They noted that Governor Obado is a man of status and influence adding that some of his employees are witnesses in the case.
“Likelihood of interference is real. There was fire incident as investigations were going on,” the Prosecution said.
His Lawyer Kioko Kilikumi argued that the offenses are bailable and that there is no justification that the accused will abscond court.
Kilukumi insisted that there was no concrete evidence to show that they could interfere with witnesses.
Nobody was identified as responsible for the fire and dismissed the allegations by the prosecution. He was released on bail in the murder case and has never absconded court,” Kilukumi said.
The lawyer was referring to the Sharon Otieno murder case.
On Monday, Magistrate Mugambi ruled that an appropriate condition can be placed to avoid the issue of interference of witnesses.
He also agreed with the Defense team’s argument on the fire incident saying no one has been pointed out or connected to it.
The court however directed that Governor Obado be barred from accessing the Migori County office and that he be escorted to pick his personal belongings from there.
The Governor has also been ordered to surrender his passports to the court, not travel outside the country and not interfere with witnesses.
He and his co-accused who include four of his children were arraigned at a Nairobi court on Monday after spending the weekend in police custody.
Governor Obado is accused of benefiting indirectly from Ksh.73.4 million paid to his children.
Investigations revealed that the children received payments from companies that traded with the Migori County Government between 2013 and 2017 when Obado served his first term.