Former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko, 16 others acquitted in Sh 357M graft case

Former Nairobi County Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko (in chains) outside Milimani Law Courts after being acquitted in the Sh 357 million graft case. PHOTO/Suek

Former Nairobi County Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and 16 others have been acquitted in the Sh 357 million graft case.

Trial Magistrate Eunice Nyutu ruled that the prosecution had failed to prove the charges against the accused persons.

“The prosecution has failed to establish a prima-facie case against all the accused persons. I therefore, acquit them under section 210 of the penal code,” the magistrate ruled.

The magistrate ruled that no evidence was adduced by the prosecution to prove the offenses of embezzlement, money laundering and acquisition of public property against the accused.

The magistrate also reprimanded the prosecution over their conduct during the trial.

She noted that the trial was marred by adjournments caused by the prosecution even after the court tried to minimize adjournments.

According to the magistrate, the prosecution declined to proceed with the hearing on grounds that the application for withdrawal of charges against some of the accused persons be heard first even after the court had given directions on how to proceed with the said application.

Further, the court found that after the said application failed, it was evident that the prosecution had no intention of proceeding with the matter.

“The conduct of the prosecution in this case reeks of negligence of duty,” the magistrate noted.

Sonko was charged in 2019 alongside former Nairobi County Government officials and tender negotiation committee members Peter Kariuki, Patrick Mwangagi, Wambua Ndaka, Andrew Nyasiego, Samuel Ndungu Mwangi, Edwin Kariuki Murimi, Lawrence Mwangi Mukuru and Preston Miriti.

Others charged are Toddy Civil Engineering Limited and its directors, Hardi Enterprises Limited, Arbab Auto Limited, ROG Security Limited, High Energy Petroleum Limited among others.

The accused persons were charged with conspiring to embezzle public funds amounting to Sh 357,390,229.95 from Nairobi City County government.