Governor Okoth Obado ‘surfaces’ at Sharon Otieno’s autopsy
Migori Governor Okoth Obado dispatched Nairobi lawyer Cliff Ombeta and a pathologist Fredrick Otieno to represent him during the autopsy of the Rongo University student, Sharon Otieno, who was brutally murdered last week.
Mr Ombeta told journalists he and Dr Otieno were at the Rachuonyo Level Four Mortuary in Homa Bay County to witness the post-mortem conducted by Chief Government Pathologist Johansen Oduor on Mr Obado’s instructions as he had been mentioned adversely and unfairly.
“We represent the interests of Governor Obado,” Mr Ombeta said.
Earlier on, the lawyer briefly exchanged words with Homa Bay Town MP Peter Kaluma, a lawyer who was representing Ms Otieno’s family.
“What are you doing here?” Mr Kaluma asked Mr Ombeta after he arrived at the morgue at 3pm.
Mr Ombeta who appeared surprised by the question said he was a lawyer just like Mr Kaluma.
There was tension at the mortuary after Mr Kaluma’s arrival, with Mr Ombeta claiming the MP had incited the public against him.
Mr Ombeta claimed to have been thrown out of the mortuary by Mr Kaluma and some family members.
“Mr Kaluma was whipping political emotions, saying the family was not comfortable with my presence. But he was only out to create a political issue,” Mr Ombeta told journalists.
He further said his client, Mr Obado, was not at the scene of crime when Ms Otieno was murdered in Homa Bay County on Monday night and that he was being targeted for political reasons and for purposes of tainting his name.
“I came here under the instructions of Governor Obado, he has been mentioned adversely and falsely and he is not involved in any way and Mr Obado has affirmed this. He does not know where the allegations are (coming) from,” Mr Ombeta noted.
“This is purely a professional issue, Mr Kaluma, the only politician here, is trying to gain political mileage,” Mr Ombeta said.
The autopsy, which was supposed to begin at 9am, began at 3pm when Mr Kaluma arrived and ended five hours later.
National Assembly Minority Leader John Mbadi had on Thursday confirmed he introduced Nation journalist Barrack Oduor to Mr Obado in the days leading to Ms Otieno’s kidnap alongside Mr Oduor on Monday night.
Speaking to the Nation, Mr Mbadi said Mr Oduor approached him seeking his help in getting access to the governor over a “sensitive” matter.
He added: “Your journalist Barrack approached me asking me to help him reach Obado over what he called a very sensitive matter.
“I however forgot about it but after one or two days the governor called me over a totally different matter.
“After we had discussed the matter, I remembered and told him, ‘by the way, there is a Nation reporter based in Homa Bay who wants to talk to you over some matter he says is sensitive, so please get in touch with him.'”
“The governor told me, ‘No problem, give me his (Oduor) number’ and I gave him the number. I remember it was on September 1. That is as far as it went. Barrack is my friend and it is not unusual for me to give contacts of my friends to journalists whenever they want to get in touch with them.”
Mr Obado’s personal assistant Michael Oyamo – who was last seen with Ms Otieno and Mr Oduor – has since been arrested in connection with the murder.
On Friday, Dr Oduor led a team of more than 10 investigators and relatives of Ms Otieno into the autopsy.
Ms Melida Auma, the deceased student’s mother, summoned courage after hours of uncontrollable wailing and witnessed the exercise.
Mr Douglas Otieno, Ms Otieno’s father, kept alternating between the inside of the morgue and the field surrounding the facility, with his hands pocketed, maybe to ease tension.
Dr Oduor said the post-mortem had revealed that Ms Otieno was stabbed eight times, with one stab entering the body from the back and piercing through the abdomen, killing the seven month foetus.
The results also revealed bruises on Ms Otieno’s body suggesting that she had struggled with her killers.
Dr Oduor also said there was a possibility that she was raped before being brutally murdered, explaining the presence of used condoms at the scene of her murder in Kodera forest, Migori County.
Locals say investigative officers on Thursday took with them two packets of the protective gear used during sex. One had been used and another was still intact.
Kevin Odero, who was among the first to spot the body, told the Saturday Nation that undergarments believed to be Ms Otieno’s lay near her naked body at Obisa near Owade bridge, approximately a kilometre from Oyugi’s town on the Kisii-Kisumu road.
“This one used condom was removed by villagers from the bushes near where Sharon’s body was found. Maybe the investigators did not see it and left it as they were picking the rest. But we are wondering why this area, being a crime scene, is not secured,” he said.
It was double tragedy for Ms Otieno’s family after her aunt died of ‘shock’ after hearing of the 26-year-old’s tragic death.
Joshua Okong’o, the spokesperson of Ms Otieno’s family, said Deborah Ogweno, 44, collapsed on Wednesday and “succumbed to shock” on Friday morning.
He said her body was taken to a mortuary in Awendo, Migori County.
While speaking to journalists at Ms Otieno’s home in Magare village, Homa Bay, Mr Okong’o urged the political class to stay away from the matter.
Mr Okong’o at the same time asked the government to carry out proper investigations so that those behind the chilling murder of their daughter can be known and face justice.