Migori County has urged residents to remain calm following the detention of Governor Okoth Obado over the gruesome murder of his pregnant girlfriend Sharon Otieno.
News of Mr Obado’s detention until Monday sparked mixed reactions in the county. He was arrested on Friday and will spend the weekend at Gigiri Police Station ahead of arraignment on murder charges on Monday.
The county’s lands executive Mr Elijah Odhiambo, who read a statement on behalf of the cabinet on Friday, asked residents to remain calm as the judicial process continues.
“The cabinet would like to thank the people of Migori for remaining calm for the past two weeks. Today, the governor was invited to the DCI office to record a statement but we later got information that he had been detained and will be presented to court on Monday,” Mr Odhiambo said.
“We call upon the people of Migori to remain calm and allow the judicial process to take its course. Government operations will continue uninterrupted. We request the investigating agencies and the judiciary to expedite the matter. We [ask] that this process is not politicised.”
Ms Otieno was kidnapped alongside Daily Nation journalist Barrack Oduor on the morning of September 3. Mr Oduor escaped death by jumping out of a speeding car. Ms Otieno’s body was later found in Kodera Forest in Homa Bay County.
Mr Obado’s personal assistant Mr Michael Oyamo, a key suspect in Ms Otieno’s abduction and murder, is also in police custody.
DNA test revealed that Mr Obado was the father of Ms Otieno’s baby. She was seven months pregnant.
On Friday, residents remained glued to their radios and television sets since news broke that the governor had been taken to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DIC) in Nairobi County to record a statement.
While some sympathised with Mr Obado, some said justice should take its course.
“I didn’t believe our governor would end up in a cell and later in court. I am praying for him to be vindicated,” said Mr Japheth Onyango.
Ms Caren Amayi, a trader at Isibania town, urged police and the DCI to speedily find Ms Otieno’s killer.
“While it is shocking that the governor has been detained, I call upon the DCI and police to ensure the process is hastened. We need to know who were behind the brutal death of Sharon,” said Ms Amayi.
A student of Rongo University, which Ms Otieno attended, also said police must ensure justice.
“No matter who the culprit is in society, let the law deal with him or her. All I want to see is justice for our comrade Sharon,” said the student who did not want to be named.
Some of the residents expressed their views on social media.
On Facebook, Mr Philip Adongo said: “Let justice be followed to the letter. If the governor is innocent, the court will set him free and if he is guilty, the law will take its course.