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Kenya: Sonko Formally Charged With Corruption, Pleads Not Guilty to Over 10 Counts




Nairobi — Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was formally charged Monday, denying more than 10 counts related to money laundering, receiving bribes and conflict of interest in a Sh357 million scandal.

Sonko pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges when he was arraigned before anti-corruption court magistrate Douglas Ogoti, in a packed court that was secured by anti-riot police officers.

He was represented by several lawyers led by Cecil Miller, who unsuccessfully applied for an anticipatory bail soon after the Governor was arrested in Voi in a dramatic scene captured on video on Thursday after the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji indicted him and 18 others.

Heavily armed anti-riot police officers were deployed around the court precincts following reports his supporters were planning to hold demonstrations, including the city centre to protest his arrest.

Sonko was escorted to court at 7 am in handcuffs, amid tight security.

Former County Secretary Peter Kariuki and former procurement head Patrick Mwangangi are among 13 other suspects including tender committee members and directors of firms awarded questionable contracts.

Haji cited the officials for conflict of interest having, “facilitated and/or benefitted from the irregular procurement and payments amounting to Sh357, 390,299 million.”

Following his directive on Friday, Sonko was flown to Wilson Airport Friday afternoon following a dramatic arrest in Voi where EACC detectives caught up with him while he was reportedly on the run.