Noordin Haji, the Director of Public Prosecutions has moved to the High Court to appeal a magistrate’s decision to acquit former Nairobi governor Mike Sonko in a Sh20 million graft case.
On December 21, 2022, Milimani Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti dismissed the case and convicted Sonko and his co-accused, businessman Antony Ombok, of 13 charges due to a lack of evidence.
Senior Assistant DPP Christine Nanjala, who filed an application before the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Division Court, contested Ogoti’s ruling, claiming he made mistakes in law and fact by failing to consider the testimony of the 19 prosecution witnesses.
She added that the magistrate’s verdict was based on an outdated charge sheet that was submitted on January 27, 2020, disregarding the replacement charge sheet submitted on September 7, 2020. The DPP stated that by declining to make a finding on each and every count as per the amended charge sheet from September 7, 2020, the learned trial magistrate committed errors of law and fact.
The Criminal Procedure Code, Cap. 75 requires that in the event of an acquittal, the judgment shall state the offense of which the accused person is acquitted and shall direct that he be set at liberty. According to documents seen by the Star, dated December 22, 22O2, Nanjala argued that the December 21 ruling did not comply with this provision.
Sonko had been accused of conspiring to steal Sh24 million in public monies from the Nairobi County Government, which is a form of corruption. Additionally, he might be found guilty of up to 30 counts each of accepting bribes, money laundering, and conflict of interest.
Sonko was initially charged in December of this year. Sonko and his associates were charged by DPP Haji with stealing Sh357 million from City Hall. After a spectacular arrest in Voi, there was an arraignment and a weekend spent in jail.