A Nairobi Court has acquitted Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko and 16 others in Sh357 million graft case.
He was charged in the year 2019 afresh 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 Web tribe 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.
Today Sonko has appeared before Milimani Magistrate Eunice Nyutu who has acquitted them
The magistrate has ruled that there is no evidence produced by the prosecution to show they conspired to embezzle the said funds.
“The prosecution has failed to provide enough evidence to warrant the prosecution of the accused persons, “She ruled.
The Magistrate expressed her frustrations brought about by the DPP who she said has on several times sought an adjournment in the case.
Sonko, in count one, was 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
He was also charged with another count of conflict of interest where he was 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 had said in a ruling that the accused persons did not show how they will be prejudiced if they answer to the substituted charge sheet.
On February 6, 2024 The Director of Public Prosecutions suffered a blow after the High Court rejected an application to set aside a November 2, 2023 ruling that directed the prosecution case of Sonko to be closed.
Sonko alongside 16 others, among them private liability companies, had been accused of embezzling public funds to the tune of Sh.357 million from Nairobi County.
Justice Nixon Sifuna in his ruling on an appeal filed by the DPP dismissed the case and directed it to proceed as planned in the trial court.
Sifuna ruled that there was no material presented before him warranting his interference with the case.
“The application is dismissed and the case in the trial court proceeds from where it had reached and as scheduled,” Justice Sifuna ruled.
He noted that the court in the exercise of its judicial function may close the evidence of a party in the event one acts in defiance of the court directions and contemptuously refuses to close its case, abandons the case and leaves it open.