It is a blow for the Assets Recovery Agency after a Nairobi court ordered the bank accounts of Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko be unfrozen with immediate effect.
Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku ruled that the 14 days that had been granted to the Agency to freeze his accounts in order to conduct investigations into graft allegations had already lapsed adding that the agency did not move to court to have the time extended.
The Magistrate has added that the Assets Recovery Agency relied on lapsed orders and thus a gross violation of Sonko’s right.
“The orders lapsed automatically by 23rd December 2019 and as such the agency had no legal basis to rely on the said order as they did not seek further orders from the court or seek did they seek for the said money to be preserved”, ruled Mutuku.
The Magistrate added that ARA did not honor the order to appear for inter-partes hearing on 23rd December.
Governor Sonko denied multiple charges of corruption, money laundering and conflict of interest limited early December last year involving Web tribe Limited, ROG security limited, Hardi Limited, Toddy Civil Engineering among other companies.
He denied the charges alongside 15 co-accused persons before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti and is on a Sh 15 million cash bail.