Migori Governor Okoth Obado wants his murder trial deferred due to COVID-19.
Obado is accused of killing Rongo University student Sharon Otieno and her unborn baby in September 2018.
The trial is scheduled to take place from July 5th to July 15th but Obado, who pleaded not guilty, wants it pushed to a later date citing a spike in COVID-19 cases in the Lake Region.
Through his attorney Kioko Kilukumi, Obado says that he resides in Migori, one of the 13 counties that were recently declared COVID-19 hotspots by the Health Ministry.
“In light of the directions issued by the Ministry of Health for the greater public good and to avoid the quick spread of the Delta variant of COVID-19 to the rest of the country, my client is unable to travel outside the COVID-19 hotspot Zone. Accordingly, we request the case be mentioned virtually on Monday, the 5th July 2021 for the purpose of fixing fresh hearing dates, hopefully at a time when the threat of COVID–19 has substantially subsided,” Kilukumi says in a letter dated June 28th.
The hearing was initially set to commence in March last year but was adjourned after courts scaled down operations over the COVID-10 pandemic.
The prosecution has lined up 37 witnesses against Governor Obado and his co-accused Michael Oyamo and Casper Obiero.
Sharon, 26, disappeared on September 3rd, 2018 in Migori and was found dead near Kodera Forest two days later.
Governor Obado later confessed he in a love affair with Sharon, who was seven months pregnant at the time of her gruesome murder.
A post-mortem examination revealed that Sharon was stabbed eight times, strangled, and raped.