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Economy

EACC obtained my bank records illegally, says Sonko

Mike Sonko
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG 

Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has urged the corruption court to quash his three cases saying the anti-graft agency violated the law while compiling evidence from five banks.

Sonko’s lawyers Cecil Miller and George Kithi want the cases, among them Sh357m graft charge dropped saying the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) breached both the law and the Constitution in gathering evidence.

Mr Miller told anti-corruption chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti, that EACC got evidence from the Equity Bank #ticker:EQTY, the Co-operative Bank #ticker:COOP, Diamond Trust Bank #ticker:DTK, the Kenya Commercial Bank #ticker:KCB and the First Community Bank “illegally and in blatant contravention of the Constitution”.

Mr Miller said Mr Sonko was not given any notice that his accounts were being investigated to give approval. The court heard investigators flouted Section 27 (3) and 28 of the Anti-Corruption and Economics Crime Act.

Mr Miller further said EACC investigators also breached and violated Article 50 (4) of the Constitution which says evidence obtained in a manner that violates the rights of a suspect shall be excluded.

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But EACC defended itself claiming that Sonko was informed about the probe into his accounts on September 3 2019 when he recorded a statement in the offices of the anti-graft commission. The agency asked the court not allow the plea by Sonko as he “wants to obtain orders against prosecution through the back door.”

The court heard the cases which have been filed against Sonko touch on EBL and that “investigations are under way in the other four banks.”

The magistrate heard once investigations are through fresh charges will be filed.

Mr Sonko and 16 others have denied embezzling Sh357m and in the second case he has denied embezzling over Sh24m.

He is yet to answer charges in the third case.

Mr Ogoti will decide on February 26 whether to free Sonko or proceed with the case.

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