Governor Okoth Obado has been dealt a huge setback after the High Court ruled that it had jurisdiction to hear a case challenging Migori county government’s plans to relocate its offices from Migori town to Lichota farm, which is nearly six kilometers away.
The court dismissed an application by Obado, the county secretary and county government seeking a declaration that High Court lacks jurisdiction to hear and decide the case filed by eighteen petitioners led by Engineer Wilson Omondi Kombwayo, Phillip Oringa and Mary Achieng’ in a ruling by Justice Roseline Wendoh.
The petitioners are requesting the court to impose an injunction prohibiting Mashin Construction Company Ltd from bidding on the new proposed offices.
Last year Obado’s administration had been accused of planning a ghost project following a similar headquarters project started almost three decades ago.
Joseph Nyambori, a member of Migori municipal board, cited congestion and strained infrastructure as the reasons for moving the headquarters to a new place. He said they consulted Obado who approved the move.
He said the headquarters will be relocated to a more spacious government land in Lichota grounds.
“Consultations are in top gear and we will soon advertise tenders to have the construction work. Expanding the current headquarters to accommodate all departments may not be achieved owing to limited space,” Nyambori said.
However, led by former Suna East MP Owino Likowa and former Migori mayor Charles Ogejo, residents faulted the plan, terming it a plot to syphon taxpayers’ money.
“Governor Obado should call for a meeting to deliberate on the matter. Migori town has been the headquarters since it was a district, we see a plan for corruption in the project,” Likowa said.
His sentiments were echoed by Ogejo who called on the governor to involve the public in critical decision-making.
“We are reading a sinister motive in the entire scheme. The municipal board should stop misguiding residents; the governor has not involved key stakeholders in the planned exercise,” Ogejo said.