Sonko denies graft charges, to know bail fate Wednesday

Mike Sonko

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in court on Monday. PHOTO | SALATON NJAU | NMG 

Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has denied 19 corruption-related charges before a Nairobi court following his dramatic arrest on Friday.

Mr Sonko, who spent the weekend in custody, denied charges including money laundering, conflict of interest, abuse of office, acquisition of public funds and conspiracy to commit an economic crime.

He is accused of corruptly receiving more than Sh25 million, through proxies including Mr Fredrick Odhiambo, Anthony Otieno Ombok, Webtribe Ltd through its directors Danson Muchemi and Robert Muriithi as well as Zablon Onyango.

The money was allegedly deposited into Sonko’s accounts in different banks and different parts of the country.

The money was from a tender to supply and implement electronic revenue collection and payment system.

Mr Muchemi, Mr Muriithi and Mr Onyango were not in court Monday but their lawyer informed chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti that they presented themselves to Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission offices as directed. Mr Sonko is also accused of pocketing Sh3 million alongside other county officials.

In a third file, he is accused of embezzling Sh357 million from the county government alongside Mr Anthony Mwaura and Rose Njeri, who are directors of Hardi Enterprises Ltd and Toddy Civil Engineering Ltd.

The governor was defended by more than 12 advocates, among them legislators.

Through lawyer Cecil Miller, Mr Sonko pleaded with the court to release him on bond, claiming that his life was at risk.

The court will rule on the bail application on Wednesday.

This article was published by the BUSINESS DAILY on December 9, 2019