Blow to Sonko as Magistrate Ogoti declines to recuse himself from Ksh.14M graft case

Blow to Sonko as Magistrate Ogoti declines to recuse himself from Ksh.14M graft case
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko in court on March 4, 2021 in the company of a medical officer. PHOTO| CITIZEN DIGITAL

Former Nairobi Governor has been dealt a blow after Anti-Corruption Court Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti declined an application by Sonko to recuse himself from hearing one of his fraud cases.

The magistrate ruled on Thursday morning that there is no evidence put before him to show that he is biased and that Sonko will not get justice.

This is even as the court allowed an application by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) to call one more witness to testify against Sonko.

The matter before the magistrate is in relation to Ksh.14 million graft.

“The same way this court holds the party with respect is the same way the court demands respect from the parties. They must submit to the rule of law,” stated Magistrate Ogoti.

He further ruled that asking the court to recuse itself amounts to threat, adding that there’s no evidence of personal bias.

Similarly, while dismissing the application to recuse himself the magistrate said that all parties were involved in the pre-trial hearing and also submitted on timings.

“The applicant having been represented by able lawyers instead of filing an appeal opted for recusal, this is a conduct meant to threaten a judicial officer,” the court noted.

“I do find no evidence of bias and hereby dismiss the application for it has no merit.”

The hearing of the matter will continue on March 15, 2021.

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