Kenya: Sonko to Know Bail Fate Today

11 December 2019

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko will today know whether he will be released on bond after he was remanded on Monday over corruption related charges.

The prosecution led by State counsel James Kihara had pleaded with the court to deny Mr Sonko bail on grounds that he is likely to interfere with investigations or intimidate witnesses who are junior officers in the county.

He said Mr Sonko is a "flamboyant, influential and wealthy public figure with rowdy and sycophantic following" and has on several occasions threatened and demonstrated acts outside the law.

He further said the governor is likely to interfere with witnesses and has incited county executive committee members against recording statements over other ongoing investigations and that granting him bail or bond will jeopardize investigations.

Mr Kihara added that the embattled governor has pending criminal cases in Mombasa, where he is charged with seven counts and despite being granted anticipatory bail, he is yet to present himself before the magistrate for plea taking.

While arguing the case to keep the embattled governor behind bars, the State prosecutor also pointed out that a warrant for his arrest is still in force.

Through lawyer Cecil Miller, Mr Sonko said he was assaulted during his arrest and was experiencing chest pains.

He pleaded for his client to be released on bond while claiming that his life was at risk. Mr Miller also dismissed claims that the county boss is a flight risk, adding he was arrested while going about his business and not while trying to escape.

"Claims on past convictions is a total lie, this is a narrative meant to portray him as such. He has been cleared before by the EACC to run as a Member of Parliament for Makadara, Nairobi Senator and as a governor," said Mr Miller.

CHARGES

Mr Sonko and seven officials in his administration denied a total of 19 counts over procurement tenders amounting to Sh357 million.

They denied charges of money laundering, conflict of interest, abuse of office, acquisition of public funds and conspiracy to commit an economic crime, among others.

The county boss is accused of corruptly receiving more than Sh25 million through proxies including Fredrick Odhiambo, who was also denied the charges. The money was allegedly deposited into Sonko's personal accounts in different banks and in different parts of the country.

In the first file, Mr Sonko was charged together with Mr Odhiambo, Anthony Otieno Ombok as well as Webtribe ltd and its directors Danson Muchemi, Robert Muriithi and Zablon Onyango, an agent.

Mr Muchemi, Mr Muriithi and Mr Onyango were not in court and chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti directed them to present themselves in court today.

They were accused of jointly accused of embezzling Sh24.1 million from the City county government over a tender for the supply and implementation of an electronic revenue collection and payment system. They allegedly committed the offence between July 1, 2018 and January 31, 2019.

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