Migori Governor Okoth Obado wants court to allow him to travel within Homa Bay County.
In a Thursday application seeking to have the bail terms reviewed, Mr Obado, who is facing murder charges for the death of Sharon Otieno, also seeks to have the court release his travel documents.
He says as a governor, his work involves travelling and shuttling mostly from Nairobi to Migori Town where his official residence and office are situated.
He told the court that Migori comprises eight constituencies and a big portion of the five border Homa Bay County, which means the restriction which bars him from being within 20 kilometers of Homa Bay County means he can’t serve his constituents.
“As such it is impracticable for the accused to effectively discharge the constitutional mandate as the Governor of Migori County,” reads the application.
The governor, who pleaded not guilty to the murder charges, argues that the only mode of travelling to Nairobi from Migori town without violating the 20-kilometer perimeter rule means he is forced to incur heavy costs.
To access Migori from the Capital means he either has to chatter a flight or spend six hours longer if he travels by road as he has to go through Trans-Mara instead of the shorter Kisii-Suneka-Rongo route as it goes through the restricted zone.
“The Trans Mara Road also has a very rough terrain, making it extremely uncomfortable and torturous to travel on the road,” says Obado.
On the issue of his travel documents, the governor said he serves as the Chairperson of the Agriculture sub-Committee of the Council of Governors, where part of his mandate is to represent the CoG in international, regional and local conferences.
“That having deposited all his travel documents to court, the accused cannot effectively execute his mandate as the Chair of the Sub-committee,” he said.
Mr Obado, who is out on a Ksh5 million cash bail, says that the review of the bail term will not – in any way – affect the case.
The prosecution opposed the application saying that order to deposit the travel documents with the court was intended to ensure that the governor does not leave the jurisdiction of the court without prior permission.
They argued that whenever Mr Obado needs to leave the said jurisdiction, he should make specific requests since a blanket permission that he seeks would beat the purpose of the order.
The application will be heard on March 20 when the pre-trail hearing is also set to begin.