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Sonko loses bid to stop Sh357m corruption trial

Thursday January 16 2020

Mike Sonko

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in a Nairobi court on January 15, 2020. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has suffered a blow after the High Court declined to suspend his trial in the Sh357 million graft case.

On Thursday, Justice Mumbi Ngugi directed Sonko’s lawyer Cecil Miller to serve the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) with suit papers to answer the allegations levelled against its director of investigations Abdi Mohamud.

Sonko is challenging the legal mandate of the anti-graft agency to investigate him when its top director has been adversely mentioned in alleged corruption deals.

In the application, Sonko accuses Mohamud of engaging in alleged corrupt deals and therefore “urges the High Court to stop his trial.”

Sonko alleges Mr Mohamud was involved in the sale of Integrity Centre for Sh1.5bn and the grabbing of a public plot in Nairobi.

The embattled governor says the EACC’s director of investigations cannot probe him before clearing his name.

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Declining to stay the case against Sonko, Justice Ngugi said orders sought cannot be granted at this stage until such time EACC files its response to the application.

She consequently directed EACC to file its reply within seven days.

The judge directed that parties appear before her on February 4 for the hearing of the application for stay of the proceedings.

The governor is also calling for the recusal of three judges who had earlier handled the case.

Sonko is out on a Sh15 million bail.

The corruption case comes up for mention on January 27, 2020 before Mr Ogoti.