Sonko lawyers maintain embattled County boss action lawful in nominating DG

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Embattled Nairobi County Governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO/COURTESY

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko’s lawyer has written to the Director of Public Prosecutions, Noordin Haji, faulting his stand on the Governor’s decision to nominate a Deputy Governor.

Lawyer Cecil Miller argued in a letter addressed to Haji that Sonko did not in any way violate his bail terms.

Miller noted that the Anti-Corruption Court in Nairobi did not bar Sonko from exercising the constitutional and statutory functions of his office.

“The bail terms did not remove the Governor from office but merely prevented him from accessing his physical office and from communicating or approaching the intended witnesses,” Miller said Tuesday.

He said the nomination of a Deputy Governor by Sonko does not in any way undermine the intended prosecution against him.

“The action (of appointing a deputy) does not interfere with witnesses in the matter and the bail terms do not amount to a removal from office of the Governor of Nairobi.”

Monday, Sonko nominated Anne Kananu Mwenda as the deputy governor.

Sonko in a letter to County Assembly Speaker Beatrice Elachi said the decision was in line with Article 180(5) of the Constitution and the Supreme Court Advisory of March 2018.

Soon after the announcement however, media reports emerged quoting DPP Haji terming the decision by Sonko to nominate a deputy as “unacceptable.”

He said Governor Sonko was in violation of his bail terms and that his action was null and void.

“The court was clear on what Sonko cannot do. To purport to have power to name a deputy while his case is still on is a violation of the bail terms given to him. We will move to court,” DPP Haji was quoted saying.

The Council of Governor Wednesday welcomed the decision by Sonko to nominate a Deputy Governor.

Council Chairperson Wycliffe Oparanya said Sonko acted within his mandate to do so and further urged the County Assembly of Nairobi to process the nominee in accordance with the law.

Sonko, who has been charged with fraudulent acquisition of public property through questionable tendering, nominated Ann Kanunu as his deputy amid uncertainty over a leadership vacuum at the City Hall.

The embattled county chief has been reluctant to name an assistance since Polycarp Igathe’s resignation in January 2018, just months after the pair described as a dynamic duo won 8 August, 2017 Nairobi gubernatorial contest. 

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