Sonko charged afresh in Ksh.357M graft case, witnesses placed under protection


Sonko charged afresh in Ksh.357M graft case, witnesses placed under protection
Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko at the Milimani Law Courts. PHOTO| COURTESY

In Summary

  • The prosecution, in the new charge sheet, removed three names of accused persons and one company - Danson Muchemi, Zablon Onyango and Webtribe Limited - thereby leaving Sonko and three others.
  • The prosecution also indicated to the court that there are other witnesses who will be put under witness protection and urged the court to use pseudo names in their statements and give evidence in a closed-door session.
  • The defence team however objected and urged the prosecution to make a formal application and argue it.

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was on Tuesday charged afresh in the Ksh.357 million graft case against him after the prosecution substituted an earlier charge sheet with a new one.

The prosecution, in the new charge sheet, removed three names of accused persons and one company – Danson Muchemi, Zablon Onyango and Webtribe Limited – thereby leaving Sonko and three others.

The prosecution also indicated to the court that there are other witnesses who will be put under witness protection and urged the court to use pseudo names in their statements and give evidence in a closed-door session.

The defence team however objected and urged the prosecution to make a formal application and argue it.

Sonko, in count one, is charged – alongside Fredrick Odhiambo alias Fred Oyugi, ROG Security Limited and Antony Otieno Ombok alias Jamal – of conspiring to commit an offence of corruption and dealing with suspect property in the sum of over Ksh.14 million in respect of a contract

The embattled Nairobi governor is also charged with another count of conflict of interest where he is alleged to have received Ksh.8.4 million from Fredrick Odhiambo alias Fred Oyugi, T/A Yiro Enterprises, through ROG Security Limited.

Earlier, the trial magistrate said in a ruling that the accused persons did not show how they will be prejudiced if they answer to the substituted charge sheet.

“A threshold has to be met, court has to be convinced that the accused shall be prejudiced. There’s no demonstration to show that Sonko and others will be prejudiced if they answer to the charges in the substituted charge sheet,” said Magistrate Douglas Ogoti.

In the main file, the defense told the court that it has not been served with all the witness statements thereby accusing the prosecution of delaying the case.

Lawyer Cecil Miller said the directions of the court were that they be served with the documents within 14 days which expired on February 10.

He argued that when the prosecution sent them email to collect the documents on February 14, it was already too late.

“There are no witness statements as confirmed by the prosecution…investigations diary not provided,” the court heard.

The case will be mentioned on February 26 for pre-trial hearing.

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Story By Dzuya Walter
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