Kenya: City Tycoon Accused of Bribing Sonko Demands Phone Records

Photo: Capital FM
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko addresses journalists after recording statements at the Ethics and Corruption Commission.
18 September 2019

Nairobi tycoon Praful Kumar, who is accused of attempting to bribe Governor Mike Sonko, now wants an electronic version of phone records and their conversations produced in court before his trail commences.

Particularly, the businessman wants details of an August 20, 2018 phone conversation with Mr Sonko as well as the phone numbers and locations used.

"It is important that I receive the information in order to expose the diabolical plot hatched against me," he says in the application filed before Chief Magistrate Edna Nyaloti.

"By failing and or neglecting to provide me with information, the prosecution is abetting the transgressions perpetrated against me and subverting the course of justice."

CORRUPTION CHARGES

Through his lawyer Kennedy Marete, Mr Kumar argues that the information will help him disprove the corruption charges he is facing.

He wants a soft copy of the records of conversations with Mr Sonko, Mr Joab Odhiambo, Mr Stanley Kilonzi and Mr Jacob Ongubo said to have taken place between August 21, 2017 and August 30, 2018.

Mr Kumar argues that without full, frank and fair disclosure of this information, he will be greatly prejudiced yet he is already a victim of a mechanisation. He also says he will be unable to conduct a defence.

"I crave the full and frank disclosure as I believe it contains exculpatory evidence which may aid my case or persuade the prosecution to view the matter from a different perspective," he says in the application.

The businessman maintains he is innocent of all the charges preferred against him and that he is only a casualty of a diabolical plot to portray him in bad light for ulterior purposes.

ALLEGATIONS

Mr Kumar is accused of attempting to bribe Governor Sonko to approve and allow him to continue building his Grand Manor Hotel in Gigiri.

The prosecution claims he attempted to bribe the Nairobi county boss by offering Sh5 million as an inducement for approval of the project.

The charge sheet states that the accused, "being a private person as a businessman and proprietor of the Nairobi hotel, offered a financial advantage of Sh5 million to the governor in order to approve and continue with construction on LR.91/239 into a case in which the complainant is involved, a matter relating to the affairs of the said pubic body".

Mr Kumar is also a accused of offering a Sh2 million bribe to the governor for approval of the construction of the building.

The prosecution claims he committed the offences on August 20 at Kanamai in Kikambala, Kilifi County.

During his arrest in 2018, police recovered bundles of money he is accused of offering Mr Sonko.

The businessman who is out on a Sh500,000 bond has denied the charges.

The case will be mentioned on October 2.

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