DPP Noordin Haji has ordered the arrest of Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and several county employees over alleged graft of squandering over Ksh 357 million.
Haji made the announcement in a press conference on Friday, December 6, 2019, at a press conference.
The DPP stated that his order was based on the investigations conducted by the Ethics and Anti Corruption Commission.
"Following a comprehensive investigation by EACC and independently reviewing the investigation files, I have found sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution and I have therefore ordered immediate arrest and arraignment in court of Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko and other persons for the crimes of conflict of interest arising from having received monies from the counties of Nairobi while serving as Governor and unlawful acquisition of property, money laundering and other economic crimes, Haji stated.
"Investigations into these crimes have been challenging because of the repeated attempts by the accused to obstruct the course of the investigation by deploying intimidation tactics in addition to using goons to threaten law enforcement officials carrying out their constitutional mandates," the DPP added.
Haji went on to state that the decision to arrest Sonko affirmed that his office was firmly committed to safeguarding the citizens of Kenya and combating fraud and crimes in all its forms.
"The investigation by EACC uncovered numerous instances of criminal conduct and a general disregard of the law by the governor and other being charged. Put simply, the action of the accused showed a blatant disregard of the law. The accused person placed their own interest ahead of the residents of Nairobi. This constitutes a clear and reprehensible abuse of the public trust.
"Public officials should be role models to the citizens they serve by adhering to the high standards.No one, no entity is above the law!" Haji stated.
Sonko's arrest raised questions on who would take over his duties, regarding that he does not have a deputy. A court ruling by Justice Mumbi Ngugi in August 2019, declared that elected executives cannot continue holding office when facing graft charges.
“The court did not pronounce itself on whether once you are charged, you cease being a governor.
“Nairobi is a unique position, where we don’t have a deputy governor in place. The question is, should the seat be taken over by the county assembly speaker for 90 days. The 90-day period is to allow for a by-election to take place," Lawyer Duncan Okatch opined on live TV, moments after Haji's directive.
While defending himself, he accused the corruption watchdog of engaging in corruption.
On Monday, November 4, Sonko took to social media and also bought a full-page ad space on The Standard to lament over how EACC's Director of Investigations, Abdi Mohamud had allegedly misused his public office to cover-up his crimes. The governor claimed that he had sent the dossier to President Uhuru Kenyatta after being frustrated by EACC.
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