I have right to appoint deputy, Sonko tells DPP Haji

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has faulted the Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Hajiis for saying he could not nominate a deputy because he is barred from office.

In a letter addressed to Haji on Wednesday, Sonko said that the nomination does not in any way undermine his intended prosecution, nor violate his bail terms.

On Monday, Sonko nominated Disaster Management chief officer Anne Kananu Mwenda to deputise him.

While notifying the Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi of the decision, Sonko said he acted in line with article 180(5) of the Constitution and the Supreme Court Advisory of March 2018.

But Haji said that Sonko was in violation of his bail terms and termed the action null and void.

"The court was clear on what Sonko cannot do. To purport to have power to name a deputy while his case is still on is a violation of the bail terms given to him. We will move to court," Haji said.

Sonko's lawyer Cecil Miller said that the Anti-Corruption Court did not remove  Sonko from office but only barred him from accessing his physical office and communicating with intended witnesses.

"The court did not bar him from exercising the constitutional and statutory functions of his office,” Miller said in a letter to the DPP.

He said that Governor Sonko can perform all those functions which do not require him to be physically present at the office.  

"Such functions include the nomination of the deputy governor as provided by Article 180(5) of the Constitution of Kenya 2010," he said. 

The lawyer said the Constitution grants an arrested person the right to be released on bond or bail on reasonable conditions, pending a charge or trial. 

"It is unreasonable to purport to interpret the condition barring our client from office to amount to removal or suspension from office," Miller said.

This article was published by the STAR NEWSPAPER on January 8, 2020