Migori governor Mr Okoth Obado has on Friday 13th November requested the court to direct the office of the DPP to reduce corruption charges against him in the Sh73 million fraud case, which according to him is overloaded.
According to Obado, the number of accounts he is facing will make it impossible for the trial to begin and conclude within the reasonable time according to the constitution.
Obado was on August 27 charged with 22 counts of contravening various sections of the Anti-corruption and Economic Crimes Act. The charges range from conspiracy to commit an economic crime, unlawful acquisition of public property to money laundering, among others.
He was charged alongside his four children Susan Scarlet, Jerry Zachary, Evelyn Adhiambo and Dan Achola Okoth and others, including businessman Jared Kwaga.
He cites a decision of the Court of Appeal, where the court said for there to be a fair trial, an accused person should not be presented with more than 12 charges.
“The available case law recommends a charge sheet to contain no more than 12 counts. That’s why he says the charge sheet is overloaded,” lawyer Kioko Kilukumi said.
However, the Director of Public Prosecutions Mr Nooording Haji through an affidavit has requested the court to dismiss Obado’s request.
“The charges preferred against Obado arise from facts which are part of a series of similar transactions and that should be tried together in one trial,” reads the affidavit.
The DPP says in the event the court insists on the number of counts to be less than 12, it should consider how having Obado prosecuted in more than one trial will delay the determination of the case. The court will issue a ruling date on November 23