Nairobi governor Mike Sonko and his co-accused denied the corruption and money laundering charges facing them on Monday at the Milimani Law Courts, Nairobi.
Sonko and 15 others are facing nine charges including conspiracy to commit offence of corruption, willful failure to comply with procurement laws, conflict of interest, abuse of office, unlawful acquisition of public property, deceiving principal, money laundering, and acquisition of proceeds of crime.
The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji issued an arrest warrant for the governor on Friday.
The governor was arrested the same day in Voi in a dramatic event, that Kenyans would joke looked like a scene from Hollywood’s crime thriller Narcos, and airlifted to Nairobi by the police chopper that had trailed him.
The drama that ensued during the arrest as the governor resisted arrest has also led to more charges being leveled against him; “unlawfully assaulting Regional Police Commander Mr Rashid Yakubu, by kicking him on the thigh, in the due execution of his duties on December 6″, resisting arrest and ‘using abusive words against the police officer.
Sonko had a heavy representation of lawyers in court, led by lawyer Cecil Miller, Mutula Kilonzo Jr, Harrisson Kinyanjui, Daniel Maanzo, Kipchumba Murkomen, Nelson Havi, George Kithi, Kwanga Mboya, Osundwa Micheal, Alphonce Mutinda, and Phillip Kaindu among many others.
The Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecution opposed Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s release on bail citing he had escaped from prison before.
The DPP represented by Gitonga Riungu and James Kihara said there is evidence that Sonko has a pending criminal case in Mombasa in 2001 after escaping from Shimo La Tewa Prison, where he had gone to seek treatment.
“It’s in the interest of the public that the court denies Sonko bail. The reasons I have given are compelling enough to deny him bail,” Kihara added.
Kihara further told the court that if Sonko is released on bail, he will interfere and intimidate the witnesses who are junior officers and employees of the Nairobi County Government.