Sonko free to nominate deputy governor, court rules

In Summary

• DPP Noordin Haji had said Sonko was in contravention of his bail terms by claiming to appoint a deputy.

County chief officer for disaster management and coordination Anne Mwenda, Governor Mike Sonko and Githurai 45 MCA Naftali Mathenge at Githurai Kwa mbao market at a past event.
County chief officer for disaster management and coordination Anne Mwenda, Governor Mike Sonko and Githurai 45 MCA Naftali Mathenge at Githurai Kwa mbao market at a past event.
Image: FILE

The High Court has declined to issue orders stopping the county assembly from vetting Anne Mwenda for the position of Nairobi’s deputy governor.

Justice Mumbi Ngugi on Wednesday directed that Sonko and the assembly file their responses in the case ahead of the next mention date on February 17. 

In the case, one Peter Odhiambo Agoro said the nomination of Mwenda amounts to a direct affront to the orders issued against Governor Mike Sonko.

 

 In December last year, Anti-Corruption Court Magistrate Douglas Ogoti barred Sonko from accessing county offices unless accompanied by an investigating officer or any other authorised person.

The court, while laying out his bail terms, also barred Sonko from approaching any witnesses.

This was after the county chief denied charges of money laundering and unlawful acquisition of public property at City Hall amounting to Sh357 million.

Agoro said the nomination of Mwenda poses a real likelihood of interfering with prosecution witnesses as she is under the direct control of Sonko.

“Sonko after being charged, was ordered not to go to office or interfere with witnesses which order was given to ensure that the integrity of the prosecution process is insulated from any interference,” he said.

Also sought in the case is an order stopping Sonko from nominating any other person for the position of the deputy governor until the conclusion of the criminal case he is facing. 

Sonko in a letter dated January 6 nominated Mwenda for the position of the DG.  The said letter has already been forwarded to the office of the speaker of the county assembly for onward transmission to the assembly for purposes of vetting Mwenda.

 

Agoro said the timing of the nomination of Mwenda for the position of the DG is an act of self-preservation by Sonko and goes against the public interest in the fight against corruption as it’s aimed at defeating the cause of justice in the corruption case he is facing.