Noordin Haji to table new evidence in Obado corruption case

Wednesday, October 13th, 2021 06:00 |
Migori Governor Okoth Obado at a past court appearance in Nairobi. Photo/FILE

The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji is seeking to introduce new evidence against Migori Governor Okoth Obado, his four children and 11 others in the Sh73.4 million corruption case.

When the case came up for hearing yesterday before trial magistrate Lawrence Mugambi, the DPP through Senior State Counsel Eva Kanyuira told the court that this office has new information in the case against Obado and his co-accused persons.

She told the magistrate that in the course of pre-trial proceedings with the investigating officer, they discovered 500 new pieces of evidence which will be vital in the case.

“That during the pre-trial session with Evans Rono, a witness in the matter and whom the prosecution intends to call as PW 1(First witness), it was discovered that there were some more documents which the witness will make reference to which had inadvertently not been supplied to the defence,” she said.

The State seeks to amend the charges against all the accused persons following the fresh evidence that has emerged. 

Kanyuira asked the court to allow the prosecution to amend and substitute the charge sheet “in the interest of justice.”

“It will not cause any prejudice or injustice to the accused persons as they shall be accorded sufficient opportunity and time to test and challenge the prosecution case as presented,” the DPP stated.

The State also sought more time to have the defence team go through the new evidence before the trial kicked off. 

The magistrate hesitantly permitted the defence lawyers and accused persons a day to go through the new evidence until tomorrow morning when the case is expected to start.

Among the fresh evidence, the prosecution has introduced in the matter are documents recovered from Obado’s home in Uriri in Migori, Migori county government, evaluation committee report for meeting No ECR/263/2015-2016 dated June 8 to 14 of 2014, offer for sale agreement for Loresho Ridge townhouse dated August 12, 2014 and bank account statements from KCB, Co-operative banks, Central Bank of Kenya and Bank of Scotland.

Other documents include payment vouchers for several companies including M/S Deltrack ICT Services, Dolphus Softwares, Pesulus Supplies, Kajulu Business Solutions Associates, Atinus Services and Victorious Investments.  

The defence led by George Kithi had opposed the request by the State to have the case proceed without them being given an opportunity to go through the fresh evidence. 

Only Obado was present during yesterday’s session with the rest of the accused persons attending virtually.

Dubious deals

In the case, Obado and his four children; Dan Achola, Susan Scarlet Okoth, Jerry Zachary Okoth and Adhiambo Evelyn Okoth are charged with Sh73.4 million graft case. 

The Governor was accused of benefiting indirectly from Sh73.4 million that was paid to his four children by companies that traded with Migori county government between 2013 and 2017.

The money is said to have been used to pay their school fees, buying two high-end vehicles and a residential property in Loresho Ridge, Nairobi.

The family is charged alongside 11 Migori county government staff and suppliers, all accused of siphoning some Sh73.4 million from the county accounts in dubious procurement deals.

They have since denied the charges related to misappropriation of funds belonging to the county. 

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