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Nairobi Govenor Sonko charged afresh in Sh14 million tender scam

NAIROBI
By Paul Ogemba | September 18th 2020

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko during his recent appearance before the anti-corruption court at Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi to answer charges of corruption. [David Njaaga, Standard]

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s woes continued after being charged afresh with conspiracy to defraud the county government of  Sh14 million.

Sonko pleaded to fresh charges of conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption and conflict of interest after anti-corruption court magistrate Peter Ooko dismissed his application challenging the legality of the new charge sheet drafted by the Director of Public Prosecution.

The governor averred that the charge sheet was defective after the DPP amended it to introduce two more counts but the magistrate ruled that there was no illegality since the hearing had not commenced.

“I find nothing defective in the charge sheet with the inclusion of the new charges and the changes made in relation to particulars of each count. The charge sheet is properly filed and is admitted as part of the court records,” ruled Magistrate Ooko.

The charges came just three days after he was charged afresh in another case with abuse of office and conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption by allegedly extorting Sh10 million as an inducement to facilitate payments to Web Tribe Limited in January 2019.

In the latest charges, Sonko was accused alongside Fredrick Odhiambo, Antony Otieno Ombok and ROG Security Limited in relation to a tender for hiring of heavy machinery for the county government.

In count one, they were accused of conspiracy to commit an offence of corruption where it was alleged they conspired to deal with suspect property amounting to Sh14.1 million for the hiring of heavy equipment.

Sonko faced a second count of conflict of interest by allegedly receiving Sh8.4 million from Odhiambo in his private accounts arising from the tender for hire the machinery.

The governor is alleged to have received the money through his five accounts at Equity Bank from Odhiambo trading as Yiro Enterprises and ROG Security Limited.

The three were further accused of money laundering with the charges indicating that they engaged in a secret transfer of the Sh14.1 million while concealing the source.

The magistrate directed that the cash bail of Sh15 million which the governor had deposited when he was charged last year shall apply to the fresh charges.

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