Migori Governor Okoth Obado and his four children were yesterday arraigned in court to respond to charges relating to embezzlement of funds from county coffers amounting to 73 million.
The Governor’s plea along side other co-accused persons to be released pending a ruling of their bail application on Monday was turned down by Milimani chief Magistrate Lawrence Mugambi who dismissed their grievance of being pre-disposed to contracting Covid-19 in the police cells, after being held in custody from Wednesday night.
Mr Obado, who is also on trial over a murder charge , in a separate court and his co-accused, pleaded not guilty to various charges, after waiting for over three hours in court. He was on the dock together with his four children, Dan Ochola, Susan Scarlet Okoth, Jerry Zachary Okoth and Adhiambo Everlyn Okoth.
The Governor denied 28 charges of graft money laundering, conflict of interest and unlawful acquisition of public kitties totaling to 73 million . On money laundering, Mr. Obado and his kin are accused of transferring the money prosecutors claim was obtained corruptly into school fees accounts.
The are also said to have bough lavish vehicles and houses with the cash. The prosecutors said the offences were committed on diverse dates between December 2014 and November 2016. The governor is also accused of having indirect private interests in the contracts entered between contractors and the county Government of Migori. He lost the bid to be released on bond.
He becomes the fifth governor to be charged with corruption after Moses Lenolkulal ( Samburu), Mike Sonko (Nairobi), Sospeter Ojaamong (Busia) and former Kiambu governor Francis Waititu.