The battery of lawyers defending Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko against corruption allegations has secured his freedom; that is if he pays.
Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti granted Mike Sonko a Sh15 million cash bail or an alternative bond of Sh30 million with a surety of a similar amount.
Sonko was barred for accessing his office and commenting on the case on social media as were the directorates of public prosections and criminal investigations and the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
This is as the magistrate ruled that it was not within his court’s power to rule on Nairobi County lacking a deputy governor, throwing uncertainty on how county business will be conducted.
“If need be, he [Sonko] can be escorted to his office by the investigating officer or any other authorised officer,” Chief Magistrate Ogoti ruled.
At the office, the governor will only allowed to pick up his belongings.
The anti-corruption court magistatre further directed that Sonko and his co-accused deposit their passports and travel documents with the court.
“In any case, the Director of Iimmigration will ensure that none of the accused leaves the jurisdiction of the court without the permission of the court,” Ogoti said while setting out the bail terms.
Five of Sonko’s co-accused have been granted a cash bail of Sh10 million, seven will earn their freedom on a bond of Sh3 million while the rest will take plea later.
The magistrate said he had considered the charges, losses made, amounts involved and nature of the offences to arrive at the decision.
In the event that Sonko and his co-accused will breach their bail terms by causing unrest or contacting the witnesses, the judge ruled they might be subjected to a pre-trial detention.
Sonko is facing a total of 19 charges in two separate files, with the prosecution claiming that he conspired with rogue business people and senior county government officials to embezzle more than Sh380 million from the county coffers.
Some of the charges include conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption, conflict of interest to money laundering, and acquisition of proceeds of crime.
The flamboyant county chief was arrested early Friday, December 6 after a greenlight from rhe Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.
On Monday, Sonko and his co-accused denied the corruption charges.
His bail application, which the prosecution opposed, was to be heard at 2.30pm on Monday but Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti pushed it to today meaning Sonko spent two days in custody.
On that Monday night, Sonko reportedly fell ill and was driven from Kamiti Prison to Kenyatta National Hospital where he was admitted for medical treatment.
On Tuesday and today morning, Sonko ally EALA MP Simon Mbugua and the governor’s aide Peter Mugo were questioned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for allegedly planning to use youth to cause chaos during Sonko’s bail application ruling today.
Sonko’s defence team comprises Cecil Miller, Nelson Havi, Alphonse Mutinda, George Kithi, Michael Osundwa and Harrison Kinyanjui.