Relief for Sonko as high court stops his prosecution

Former Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko (left) and his lawyer Dr. John Khaminwa at Milimani Law Courts at a past date. Photo/Suek

It is a relief for former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko after the High Court temporarily stopped his prosecution in Sh 10 million graft case.

Justice James Wakiaga stopped the prosecution pending the hearing and determination of the case where Sonko moved to the high court seeking to stop Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti from handling his case on grounds that he is biased.

“l do hereby grant the petitioner(Sonko) temporary conservatory orders up to 23rd June 2021. The orders is in respect to Anti-Corruption case number 1 of 2020,” ruled Justice Wakiaga.

The former Nairobi County boss argued that he had requested the magistrate to recuse himself from the matter but he declined. He added that if C.M Ogoti is allowed to continue hearing the case against him, he stands to suffer irreparable damage.

“The petitioner has reasonable apprehension that during the trial of his case before Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti, good counsel, fairness and impartiality will not prevail and therefore he does not feel that his fundamental rights to a fair trial will be respected in the said court,” claims Sonko.

Sonko wants the case to be assigned to another magistrate of similar jurisdiction to ensure a fair trial.

In an application to recuse himself, CM Ogoti ruled that Sonko did not demonstrated proof of bias and subsequently dismissed the application.

In the case, Sonko is accused of requesting for a Sh 10 million bribe from Web Tribe Limited through ROG Security Limited as an inducement to process payment and contract with Nairobi County.

The former Governor is alleged to have committed the offence between 10th and 19th January 2019 in Nairobi.