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State expert on DNA testifies in Migori Governor Okoth Obado’s trial

Thursday, July 15th, 2021 00:00 |
Migori Governor Okoth Obado at the Milimani law courts, yesterday. Photo/PD/CHARLES MATHAI

Bernice Mbugua @BerniceMuhindi

Migori Governor Okoth Obado sat pensively as an expert witness told his murder trial court that he was the father of the unborn child murdered alongside the mother, his late girlfriend Sharon Otieno.  

The expert, however, said  the used condom found alongside Sharon’s mutilated body in Kodera Forest, Homa Bay county, could not be linked to the governor or  his co-accused.

Obado and his personal assistant Michael Oyamo and Casper Obiero, a clerk in Migori, are on trial for the murder of the then 26-year-old Rongo University Second Year student and her unborn baby on diverse dates in September 2018. 

Surrounded by a handful of his supporters, the tall, slender and often sharply dressed county boss made the lone walk to the High Court and perched himself on a corner chair with his phone, which has become a constant companion. He occasionally consulted with his co-accused.

“There was a 99.9 per cent and more chance that Obado was the biological father of the unborn baby,” John Kimani, an analyst with the Government Chemist, told the court.

Kimani also indicated that DNA from the condom found where Sharon’s body was recovered did not belong to any of the accused.

Expert also revealed that he was not able to ascertain whether the condom was used on Sharon, because the DNA samples were too low. 

Trial judge, Lady Justice Cecelia Githua heard that there could have been several reasons why the DNA cells were downgraded in the used condom; one of them being the male profile could have been too much as compared to the female DNA, which would make it impossible to get a result from that type of scenario.

“Second possibility is the amount of DNA from inside the condom that is too much spilling semen over to the outside of the condom where the concentration would be low,” Kimani told the court.

As in previous appearances, Sharon’s father Douglas Otieno, who has religiously attended the proceedings, sat pensively as the witness testified about the brutal killing.

In his testimony on Monday, chief Government Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor told the court that Sharon and her killers may have had a sexual encounter, which would explain why the doctor obtained a vaginal sample and DNA from the body.

“The DNA was to establish occurrence of sexual encounter between her and probably the persons who were with her last,” the medic told the court.

Curb corruption

Yesterday, the Government Chemist analyst, who was the third witness, further testified that the profiles generated from the blood stains, from the jumper jacket, the pair of long trousers, open shoes, vaginal swab and bra matched Sharon.

He said the items were forwarded to him by homicide detective Nicholas ole Sena and were in the custody of the Government Chemist.

He also noted that it was not possible to know if someone had come across the items and touched them because they were heavily blood-stained

Another witness, Veronica Wambugu, who was an employee at Sagret Hotel in Nairobi, testified how on August 23, 2018, a customer approached her and requested for help in making an MPesa transaction.

Wambugu, who was a receptionist at the hotel, told the court that she was on the night shift when the client walked in and found her at the reception. 

“He requested me to assist him send money using my Safaricom line, to a number he could give me. It was not someone I knew.

He gave me Sh22, 500, I sent Sh22,200 before I closed my shift,” she told the court. According to prosecution, the number she sent the money to belonged to a protected witness.

The fifth witness, head of security at Fly540 airline, confirmed that Sharon and a protected witness travelled to Nairobi from Kisumu on August 24, 2018.

Alex Omamo confirmed that the two boarded the flight on August 24, 2018, at 7.10am from Kisumu to Nairobi.

“The first boarding pass belonged to Sharon, she was our passenger on flight 5H0408 at  7.30am.

The boarding pass time indicated the 7.10 flight was from Kisumu to Nairobi,” Omamo told the court. 

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