Sonko loses bid to halt his Sh537m graft suit


Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in court in the past. FILE PHOTO | NMG

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has lost his bid to suspend his prosecution in the Sh357 million graft case that is ongoing at the Anti-Corruption Court in Milimani.

Mr Sonko wanted the High Court to issue an order suspending further proceedings and hearing of the graft case, until a petition in which he accuses the State of violating his right to a fair trial is heard and determined.

But Justice James Wakiaga Tuesday threw out the application on grounds that Mr Sonko (above) did not demonstrate that there were exceptional circumstances surrounding his prosecution to warrant issuance of the orders sought.

The court told the ousted county boss that he had not satisfied the conditions for grant of stay in criminal proceedings, which judge Wakiaga said can only be granted in rare and exceptional circumstances. Justice Wakiaga explained that an order suspending criminal proceedings can only be issued in the most exceptional of circumstances.

“An order for stay of proceedings, particularly stay of criminal proceedings is made sparingly and only in exceptional circumstances,” stated Justice Wakiaga adding that suspending Mr Sonko’s prosecution would have been an interference to the lower court proceedings.

He ruled that Mr Sonko will not suffer any prejudice if the proceedings of the graft case continues pending determination of his petition which he is challenging decision of Director of Public Prosecution to put some witnesses under protection.

In the petition, Mr Sonko wants High Court to declare that once the rights to fair trial under article 25(c) as read with article 50(2) of the Constitution have been violated there is no cure to such and the petitioner is entitled to an acquittal notwithstanding the nature of evidence against him/her.

He also wants the court to declare that the directors of Web Tribe Ltd -trading as Jambopay- Danson Muchemi and Robert Muriithi cannot be witnesses against him ‘as they are already accomplices’.

Mr Sonko says any evidence of their testimony should be denied, negated and expunged and not to form any part of any official court record.

He is also challenging DPP’s decision to withdraw charges against directors of the online payments services company.

Justice Wakiaga directed that the petition be mentioned on March 23, 2021 before the Deputy Registrar.