The High Court will determine whether a lawyer will continue representing the family of Sharon Otieno following concerns raised by Migori Governor Okoth Obado.
While appearing before judge Ngenye Macharia for mention of the case on Monday, Mr Obado once again accused lawyer George Wajackoyah of representing two parties whose positions are conflicting.
The governor and his co-accused — personal assistant Michael Oyamo and Mr Casper Obiero, a clerk in Migori — were in court for the case in which they have been charged with Ms Otieno’s murder.
The governor claimed Prof Wajackoyah obtained confidential information from him at the time he was being detained in a police station, yet when they went to court, he acted for the family of the deceased.
The court heard that, on September 23, 2018, when Mr Obado was in police custody at Gigiri Police Station, Prof Wajackoyah sought and obtained instructions from the governor.
The lawyer persuaded him to share correspondence between the DPP, the DCI and himself.
The court further heard that he convinced the governor that he was doing consultancy work for the DPP as well the DCI and that he had been granted a clearance to represent him in the case at the time.
While Prof Wajackoya does not dispute that he was present at the said police station on the said date, he argues that he talked to Mr Obado as a coincidence since he was to meet another client whose name was not disclosed in court.
But the county chief insisted that he was the only suspect whom the said lawyer was to see hence the unnamed client the court had been told about was a fictitious character.
He also claimed that he is not opposed to the victim’s family being represented but if the lawyer of their choice is conflicted, his representation amounts to misconduct and must therefore be stopped.
“Comforted with knowledge that Prof Wajackoyah was cleared, the governor went ahead to give him instructions,” Mr Obado’s lawyers told the court.
In court on Monday, Governor Obado’s lawyers, Kioko Kilukumi and Rodgers Sagana, said he would be subjected to an unfair trial and that the law forbids counsels from representing two parties whose positions are in conflict.
“More critical is the constitutional right of the governor to a fair trial. Can he get it when one of his lawyers has jumped ship with confidential information and has joined the prosecution? That cannot be permitted,” his lawyers said.
They added: “It is about fair trial rights of the accused and how they will be affected by his representation, it will be considered professional misconduct, constituting a disciplinary offence.
The three have denied killing the Rongo University student and her unborn baby on the night of September 3 and 4, 2018, at Owade in Rachuonyo Sub-county, Homa Bay County.
Mr Obado was released after depositing a cash bail of Ksh. 5 million and two sureties of a similar amount.
Mr Obiero and Mr Oyamo were released on bail later.
The High Court will give its ruling on the matter of Prof Wajackoyah on December 18.