Taxi driver in Sharon Otieno’s murder case ‘doubts’ his evidence

By , K24 Digital
On Mon, 7 Aug, 2023 17:48 | 3 mins read
Sharon Otieno
The late Sharon Otieno. PHOTO/Courtesy

A taxi driver who allegedly ferried the late Sharon Otieno to Kodera forest where she met her death confessed to doubting the veracity of his own evidence before court.

Jackson Gombe told Justice Cecilia Githua of Milimani High Court Criminal Division that he cannot remember some parts of his statement to the police regarding what transpired on the night of September 3, 2018.

While being cross-examined by defense counsel Elisha Ongoya, the witness denied having given detectives the information in his statement regarding the murder of Sharon.

Gombe has been on the stand for a week now, during which he has been put to task to explain the inconsistencies in his evidence.

Defense Counsels led by Kioko Kilukumi and Rogers Sagana have claimed that Gombe’s evidence before the court is a prosecution theory imposed on him to implicate former Migori Governor Okoth Obado.

"You are a planted witness and have no idea what happened on that day. You did not participate at all in any events of September 3, 2018," Sagana said. 

He has been testifying against Obado, his Personal Assistant Michael Oyamo and clerk Caspal Obiero who are being tried over the murder of Sharon and her unborn baby that took place in Homa Bay County.

On Friday, he admitted to the court that he would not believe his own evidence because his statements were contradictory.

Gombe was once a suspect in the murder of Sharon Otieno. He was later released and put under the witness protection agency.

He, however, chose to leave the agency on his own volition.

The witness told the court he had two statements. One was written at Oyugis police station in Migori County and another at the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).

Gombe denied telling the police some words in his statement. It is believed that this was when they were headed to Kodera when the journalist who was in the company of the late Sharon managed to escape from the hands of his abductors.

Lawyer Ongayo asked him whether he knew any of the passengers on board his taxi, to which he replied that they were all strangers to him.

Gombe's statement on Sharon's murder

Gombe told the court that the strangers in his car instructed him to stop at a thicket, turn off the lights, and wait for them in the dark to which he obliged. 

Asked by Ongoya whether it’s normal or unusual for someone to stay put in the dark as instructed by strangers, Gombe said, “I can't recall if my brain was functioning properly”.

He also confessed to not telling the police the truth when he mentioned that he went back to Uriri around midnight on the fateful day after dropping off and waiting for the strange men at a thicket somewhere along Oyugis.

Asked who told him to come to tell lies to the court, Gombe said “No one”.

In his evidence,  Gombe narrated to the court how he was called by a man identified as Elvis, instructing him to go and pick Oyamo in Uriri. 

Elvis was a Kenya Police guard assigned to Obado at the time.

Gombe said he did as instructed and proceeded to Uriri, where he found Oyamo in the company of two other men.

He said they were strangers to him. 

But his statement, which he read out in court, contains a description of those three men.

One was Oyamo, and the second he describes as a tall dark man from Awendo whom he used to see in the company of Obado during the campaign period.

He also describes the third man whom he says is a person not new to him as he also used to be in the governor's campaign. 

The names of these men are not given. 

But Gombe again disowned that part of his statement, saying he did not know the men that were with Oyamo.

These men, it is said, are the ones who drove off with the driver in the company of Sharon and the journalist on the fateful day.

Records show that Oyamo was left behind while Sharon and the journalist went with the three 'strange men' in the vehicle.

But the journalist allegedly managed to escape from the moving vehicle and Sharon was left alone with her "assailants".