Taxi driver denies being part of Sharon killers

Jackson Otieno Gombe testifies at a Milimani court on Friday, July 28, 2023 . [Collins Kweyu, Standard]

A taxi driver has denied being part of the gang that abducted and killed university student Sharon Otieno.

Jackson Gombe said that he was not part of the killer gang as was captured in the testimony by a journalist who was also abducted alongside Sharon but jumped out of the vehicle.

Gombe said he was only hired to ferry the people.

"It is not true what the journalist said that the driver of the taxi was part of the abductors and killers. Whatever he said was not true and I only stand with what I stated and said in court," said Gombe.

Gombe was initially one of the suspects who had been arrested in connection to the murder but later released disowned the testimony of the journalist saying they were based on lies.

The journalist who is a protected witness had testified that he, alongside Sharon, were handed over to the abductors by former Migori Governor Okoth Obado's personal assistant Michael Oyamo but he managed to jump out of the moving vehicle to save his life.

Although the journalist had stated that the driver of the taxi stopped the car when he jumped out, Gombe said he never stopped and did not even notice when the person jumped out of the car.

"It is not true that I stopped the vehicle when someone jumped out. I only heard something like the door or the car window had been opened but I didn't see anyone jumping out. Even to date I do not know if someone jumped out of the car," said Gombe.

He added that the journalist lied when he said they were ordered to surrender their phones, bag, wallet, identity cards or any of their personal belongings.

He added that the journalist lied when he stated that Sharon was screaming and calling for help, and that his co-driver kept on receiving instructions through constant phone calls.

"The only sound I heard was when the journalist made a sound like someone being pinched. It did not bother me because it did not look serious. It is also not true that Sharon was hysterical and pleading with the abductors not o harm her," said Gombe.

The witness was put to task over his claims that Oyamo and former Migori County clerk Caspal Obiero had a meeting on the day Sharon was abducted and murdered on September 3 2018 since their location was different from where he said they had met.

According to the defence lawyers led by Rodgers Sagana, the phone data records showed that Oyamo was at his rural home in Uriri and not within Migori town while Obiero was in Rapogi and not at the venue the meeting.

"I cannot tell their location at the stated date because what I remember is that I met them at Obiero's home while they were having a meeting," said Gombe.

The witness had in his evidence in chief alleged that he was hired by Obiero to ferry the killers from Migori to a forest in Oyugis town where Sharon's dead body was discovered.

Gombe was being cross-examined for the third days in the case where Obado, Oyamo and Obiero are charged with the murder of Sharon and her unborn baby on September 3 2018.