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Obado’s PA Michael Oyamo charged with Sharon’s murder, detained till October 8

By Faith Karanja | September 27th 2018
Michael Juma Oyamo in the dock at a Milimani Court where he pleaded not guilty to murdering Sharon Otieno. [George Njunge/Standard]

The prosecution yesterday described how an aide of Migori Governor Okoth Obado lured Rongo University student Sharon Otieno to her death.

Michael Juma Oyamo, who was charged with the murder of Sharon, then lied that he was also a victim of abduction, police said.

Mr Oyamo (pictured), who is the governor's personal assistant, denied one count of murder when he appeared before High Court judge Jessie Lesiit.

As the charge was read, he rested his arms on the dock then stood up straight and flinched.

“The accused person is charged with the offence of murder. The particulars of the case state that you, Michael Juma Oyamo, between September 3 and 4, 2018, at Owande area in Rachuonyo within Homa Bay County jointly murdered Sharon Belyne Otieno."

Oyamo remained silent, prompting Ms Lesiit to ask him whether he understood what had been read to him.

"Why are you hesitant? Do you understand the charge?"

Oyamo finally responded “not guilty”, clearing the way for the case to proceed. A mental assessment had earlier confirmed that he was fit to stand trial.

The prosecution opposed his release on bail citing interference with witnesses. The State also said he was a flight risk because, if convicted of the offence, he faced the death sentence.

The court said it would decide on his application for bail on October 8 and Oyamo was remanded at the Industrial Area Remand Prison where Obado, who is also facing a murder charge, is being held.

According to an affidavit filed by Clement Mwangi, an investigative officer from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Oyamo lured Sharon and handed her to her killers.

Mr Mwangi said he was investigating the murder case against Oyamo, Zachariah Okoth Obado, Caspal Ajwang Obiero and three other persons who are yet to be identified and arrested.

“The investigations commenced as a result of the abduction and subsequent brutal murder of Sharon and her unborn child," Mwangi said, adding that on September 3, Oyamo lured Sharon from her parents’ home in Homa Bay to Rongo in Migori.

False report

The officer said he established that Oyamo proceeded to Uriri Police Station and made a false report through OB Number 19/4/9/2018 to the effect that he had been kidnapped.

The accused alleged that following his kidnap, he found himself in hospital on September 4 where he was purportedly treated at 9am.

“I have established from Kisii Level 5 Hospital that the accused person was never a patient at the hospital on the alleged date,” said Mwangi.

The officer said Oyamo played a key role in the planning and eventual execution of Sharon and her unborn child.

He said he had an eye-witness account of journalist Barack Oduor whose statements implicated Oyamo, Obado, Obiero and other suspects at large.

The officer said Sharon was seven months pregnant and that DNA results had confirmed that Obado was responsible for the pregnancy.

“I have confirmed that Sharon was tortured, raped and brutally murdered,” he said.

A postmortem report indicated that Sharon died due to excessive bleeding after being stabbed in the neck, back and abdomen.

Mwangi said the State had a very strong case against the accused and his accomplices.

Through lawyers Neville Amollo, June Ashioya and Rogers Abisayi, Oyamo had made an oral submission seeking his release on bail. However, they were directed to file a formal application.

Oyamo also wanted the judge to disqualify herself from the matter.

Sharon's mother, Melida Auma, who addressed the press outside the courts, said she was praying that justice would be served.

“I pray for the team of investigators so they can find out who murdered my daughter because we are now living in pain."

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