A Kenyan governor has been charged with aiding and abetting the murder of a pregnant student with whom, prosecutors say, he was in an “intimate relationship.”
Gov. Okoth Obado of Migori County in western Kenya is accused of killing Sharon Otieno, 26, who was abducted September 3 alongside local journalist Barack Oduor.
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Oduor escaped and reported the incident to police, prosecutors say.
Two days later, Otieno, who was seven months pregnant, was found by the roadside, covered in stab wounds. Her unborn baby also had stab wounds, according to local media reports.
A media statement from Kenya’s Director of Public Prosecutions, Noodin Haji, said: “Sharon and her unborn baby lost their lives in a gruesome and horrifying manner in the hands of her killers. My office is therefore committed to ensuring that all the perpetrators of the heinous act are brought to book and subjected to the due process of the law.”
Haji alleged that Obado was in an “intimate relationship” with Otieno which “subsequently led to a pregnancy with the deceased that the Governor was unhappy about.”
Obado, who was elected governor in 2013, appeared in court Monday morning and pleaded not guilty.
The governor, who was arrested on September 21 will remain in custody till his bail hearing on Thursday, Kenya’s National Prosecution Authority said on Twitter.
He was initially denied bail by the prosecutors who said the governor could use his influence to interfere with “witnesses and compromise security of suspects” that are yet to appear in court.
Kenyan prosecution alleges Otieno and Oduor were abducted in Homa Bay, western Kenya by four unidentified men and a man identified as Michael Oyamo, an aide to Obado.
Oyamo was arrested this month and later charged with murder, alongside another aide to the governor, Caspal Ojwang Obiero, who is facing a charge of aiding and abetting murder.