Migori Governor Zachariah Okoth Obado now wants Professor George Wakackoyah disqualified from representing the victims in the murder case of Sharon Otieno and her unborn child.
In an affidavit, the governor says Prof Wajackoyah has privileged information about him and he is reasonably fearful that the information may be revealed and shared with the prosecution in the course of the proceedings.
The embattled governor says that on September 23, 2018, just two days after his arrest over the murder, Wajackoyah paid him a visit at Gigiri Police Station and sought instructions on the case.
“He intimated to me that he had done a lot of consultancy work with the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) and the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI),” Obado says in court documents.
According to Obado, Prof Wajackoyah even showed him correspondence between himself and the two offices which convinced him that, indeed, he had had good knowledge in criminal law practice.
“He further confirmed that the two offices nevertheless cleared him to represent me.. With the assurance that there was no conflict of interest; I gave him instructions to represent me in this case,” says the governor.
Obado says after he had given him instructions, he called his advocates on record, Mr Roger Sagana, to join them and make acquaintance with Prof Wajackoyah, who would also be representing him.
Obado claims that when he was arraigned in court on September 24, 2018, there were several other counsels acting for him but Prof Wajackoyah was excluded even though he was present in court.
“Advocate took serious issue with the omission of his name from the Coram and informed me as much. In the subsequent court appearances, he came to court and introduced himself as the advocate for the victims. He continues to be on record for the victims to date,” said the governor.
“I also reasonably believe that the advocate’s representation of the victims is aimed at advancing a certain mischief against me since there is a glaring conflict of interests on his part. The continued appearance of the advocate for the victims in this matter will breach my constitutional right to a fair trial and cause great miscarriage of justice,” he says in court documents.
In his response, Prof Wajackoyah denies ever having received instructions from Obado to represent him in the matter or ever soliciting to be instructed by Obado to represent him in the case.
“The application in its entirety is tantamount to intimidation, harassment and the causing of fear to the victims, and is simply a victimization venture by the Accused person,” he says.
The lawyer says, indeed, he visited Gigiri Police Station to see a client who had been arrested and coincidentally bumped into Obado with whom they exchanged only greetings and brief pleasantries.
“If indeed the allegations by the 1st accused person that he instructed me was true, then nothing would have been easier than for him to have availed the letter of instructions, any Short Text Message or any communication of the same to me and my acceptance,” he says in court documents.
Wajackoya says he was introduced to the mother of the late Sharon Otieno who requested for his services in the matter.
“I indeed informed her that I would go to Court first to assess the matter and make my independent decision whether it was a matter that I would be willing to render my services for,” he says.
According to Wajackoya, he came to court on the date Obado was arraigned and also on the second time when the matter came up and with good reasons.
“I never addressed the court, but instead observed keenly the proceedings so as to enable me to make a decision on whether it was a matter that I would want to come on record to act for the victims,” he argues..
Justice Ngenye directed the application be heard on November 27.