Economy

Sonko loses bid to stop DPP from amending Sh14m graft charge

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Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. FILE PHOTO | NMG

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Summary

  • Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has lost an attempt to block the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from amending the charge sheet of the Sh14 million graft case.
  • Senior principal magistrate Peter Ooko yesterday allowed the DPP to amend the document so that it can reflect the source of the money that the governor and three others are accused of embezzling.

Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has lost an attempt to block the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from amending the charge sheet of the Sh14 million graft case.

Senior principal magistrate Peter Ooko yesterday allowed the DPP to amend the document so that it can reflect the source of the money that the governor and three others are accused of embezzling.

“The DPP stated the funds came from Nairobi County Government which was not included in the earlier charge sheet filed last December,” Mr Ooko said while overruling Mr Sonko’s objection.

He found that the governor and his co-accused will not suffer any prejudice if the amended charge sheet is admitted adding that no fresh witnesses will be introduced. Mr Sonko is charged alongside Mr Fredrick Odhiambo alias Fred Oyugi trading as Yiro Enterprises Limited, Antony Otieno Ombok and ROG Securities Ltd.

In the amended charge sheet, the governor is accused of having conflict of interest in awarding of tenders by the county government and acquisition of proceeds of crime.

The court heard that the governor received Sh8.4 million from ROG Security Ltd through Anthony Otieno between December 27 and 28, 2018.

The money was a benefit in respect to a contract by the city county government for hiring of heavy equipment. He is also accused of having an indirect private interest in the awarding of a tender to Yiro Enterprises Ltd by receiving Sh8.4 million from Mr Fredrick Odhiambo.

He is also charged jointly with Mr Odhiambo, Mr Otieno and ROG Security Ltd.

The three are accused of money laundering and conspiring to commit an offence of corruption through the hiring of heavy machinery which led to loss of Sh14 million from the Nairobi County Government. They denied the charges.

In his ruling, the magistrate said the law allows the DPP to amend the charge sheet against a suspect before the conclusion of the trial.

He said Articles 50, 157, 159 and Section 213 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) gives the DPP mandate to charge and prosecute suspects in criminal cases.