Obado’s case adjourned after his co-accused went into labour during court proceedings
The trial of the Ksh 73.4 million graft case against Migori Governor Okoth Obado, his four children and others has been adjourned to February next year after one of the suspects gave birth.
The trial magistrate Lawrence Mugambi while adjourning the case congratulated the suspect Carolyne Anyango Ochola saying, "a child is a blessing and the mother should be indulged by the court to nature the newborn."
Mugambi had excused the mother of the newborn last month when she developed labour pains during court proceedings.
The woman's plight was brought to the attention of the court by lawyer George Kithi who told the court to excuse his client who needed urgent hospital attention.
"My client has developed labour pains while in court and she needs urgent medical attention. I urge the court to indulge her to secure assistance otherwise this court may be turned into a maternity ward," Kithi said.
Mugambi excused Anyango and asked her to rush to the hospital since men do not understand that "condition" properly.
Shortly thereafter the accused strolled out of court holding her back in pain. She was taken to the hospital in a private vehicle.
When the case came up for hearing on Thursday, November 18, 2021, the good news of the newborn was relayed in court with a request to adjourn the case to enable the mother to nurse her bountiful blessing.
At the same time, the magistrate was also informed that Obado’s two daughters are also pregnant and required time not to attend physical court proceedings.
The court was urged to conduct virtual hearings to accommodate the new mother and Obado's expectant daughters Scarlet and Evelyne to avoid much travelling. following their condition.
The court however declined the request to have the two expectant mothers attend physical court hearings and directed that the two be examined at Kenyatta National Hospital and a report filed in court within a month.
Scarlet and Evelyne presented to court medical records from Migori Referral Hospital showing that they are both pregnant with one expected to deliver on or before February 5.
Mugambi however declined to allow the request and ordered a second examination conducted on the two by doctors from Kenyatta National Hospital and a report filed in court within a month.
The magistrate also directed the new examination to be conducted to Obado’s two daughters be done in conjunction with the office of DPP and EACC.
Mugambi further ordered that the trial against Obado, his children and 13 others to start fresh during the next hearing on February 28 next year following the new charges that were levelled against the accused persons over defrauding the county government at a total of Ksh 505.6 million
In this case, Obado and his co-accused persons denied 26 new charges after the prosecution amended the charge sheet to include some amounts and two more companies as accused persons in the matter which are Swifcon Engineering and Dolphus Softwares Ltd following the discovery of new evidence.
Governor Obado is charged alongside his children Dan Okoth, Scarlet Okoth, Jerry Okoth, Evelyne Okoth, his alleged close associate Jared Kwaga, Joram Opala, Patroba Ochanda, Christine Ochola, Peninah Auma, Carolyne Anyango, Tarchdog Printers Ltd, Kajulu Business Ltd and Dolphus Softwares Ltd.
The county boss and his co-accused face 26 charges ranging from conspiracy to commit economic crimes, conflict of interest, unlawful acquisition of public property, and money laundering.
The prosecution claims that the accused persons allegedly used six companies to obtain a total of Sh 505.6 million through corruption.
According to the prosecution, Obado and his co-accused engaged in a complex scheme of money laundering where the companies were awarded contracts and got payments worth millions of shillings that were wired back to the governor through his children who were studying abroad.
In the first count with all the accused of the offence of conspiring to commit an economic crime contrary to the law and it is alleged that between October 29 2014 and October 18, 2016, within Migori County they conspired to commit an economic crime which was the unlawful acquisition of public funds Sh 73.4 Million from Migori County.
Obado alone denied 7 counts of conflict of interest where it was alleged that being a Governor he knowingly acquired an indirect private interest where his children received millions of shillings in respect of an agreement between the county and their companies.