19 September 2018

Kenya: Okoth Obado Fathered Slain Sharon Otieno's Baby, DNA Test Shows

Photo: Nairobi News
Governor Okoth Obado and murdered Rongo University student Sharon Otieno. (file photo)

Detectives and government scientists have finally confirmed, to the highest degree known to science, that the baby boy ripped from Ms Sharon Otieno's womb was Okoth Obado's, thus putting the Migori governor at the heart of investigations into the abduction and killing of the university student.

The foetus died after the mother was stabbed eight times while seven months pregnant. A postmortem report indicated that the fatal blow to the baby was a single knife stab through Ms Sharon's abdomen.

Police sources said the governor is now a person of interest in the investigation and will have to record another statement in Nairobi, alongside his wife Hellen. Mr Obado last week recorded a statement in Kisumu.

Earlier, detectives investigating the gruesome murder of the 26-year-old Rongo University student had indicated that the governor's wife was a person of interest after suspects named her close associates in the horrendous scheme.

OYAMO

However, police postponed her scheduled interrogation at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) headquarters on Kiambu Road, Nairobi, as the investigators gathered more evidence from suspects already in custody and awaited reports from the Government Chemist.

A DNA test report prepared Wednesday by a government analyst absolves Mr Michael Oyamo, Mr Obado's disgraced aide, as the father of Sharon's unborn baby.

"There are 99.99+pc more chances that Zacharia Okoth Obado is the biological father of the donor of the DNA generated from the foetus, that is Sharon Belyne Otieno's child," the statement reads.

"Michael Juma Oyamo is excluded as the biological father of the foetus." Police believe that Sharon's murder was not the work of a killer seeking the macabre thrill of taking human life, but of a person with a clear motive.

Three of Mr and Mrs Obado's associates have been arrested in connection with the murder.

DETAINED

Detectives on the case had followed a telecommunication analysis of their phones which showed they had been together with main suspect, Mr Oyamo, in Awendo as the kidnapping happened.

Yesterday, a court in Kisii allowed police to detain Mr Caspal Obiero, a clerk at Migori County who often runs errands for the Governor.

He had surrendered to the police in Oyugis after a car registered in the name of his wife, Olivia Oloo, was linked to the kidnapping and murder of Ms Otieno. Ms Oloo is a blogger in the governor's press unit.

Ms Oloo, who has been a county employee since 2015, had on Sunday filed a statement with the police, but detectives let her go after she proved that her husband had been using her Toyota Fielder at the time the murder happened. He will be held in police custody for the next 10 days.

Police also secured a 10-day detention order against Mr Elvis Okoth Omondi, a policeman assigned to guard the Migori Governor and who is said to have accompanied Mr Obiero to Oyugis Police Station but ended up being arrested.

SUSPECTS

Initially, police sources told the Nation he was arrested and disarmed because he had caused a commotion at the station, but his appearance in court may mean the police are now linking him to the murder as well.

At the Kisii courts, detective Nicholas Ole Sena argued in a sworn affidavit that the two were to be detained longer to shed light on what he called a sensitive murder investigation.

The prosecution team, led by Mr George Muindi, said Mr Obiero and Mr Okoth had been named by witnesses and initial suspects Michael Oyamo and Lawrence Mula as well as Jack Gombe.

The latter is the Migori taxi driver arrested while driving the Toyota Fielder on Sunday evening.

Senior Principal Magistrate Lutta Shiundu agreed that Ms Otieno's murder was complex and allowed longer detention until September 28.

"The respondents will be allowed access to medical attention and to their advocates," Mr Shiundu, who further directed that the two be detained at Keroka Police Station, said.

Their lawyer, Mr Omondi Kasera, had asked the court to release the two, arguing that their continued detention was in breach of the law.

ABDUCTION

On Wednesday, a source at the DCI confided to the Nation that Mrs Obado had already been summoned but was later requested not to turn up "due to fresh emerging details" regarding the probe.

Reports also indicated that detectives will question a relative of Mrs Obado who is an ex-police officer.

The investigators are also gathering information about Ms Otieno and Nation reporter Barrack Oduor's mission in Nairobi on Friday August 24, 2018, 11 days before their abduction.

"We have obtained the boarding passes they used to travel from Kisumu International Airport to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in Nairobi on August 24 and are investigating whom they met in the city and whether the meeting had any connection to the subsequent incidences," a source privy to the ongoing probe said.

"From our preliminary investigations, the plan to execute the duo could have begun much earlier and they may have been lured to the City. However, the deal seemed to have flopped and the plot changed."

The two travelled from Kisumu to Nairobi on August 24 aboard Fly 540, flight number 5H0408. The trip is said to had been organised by Mr Oyamo.

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