BY SAM ALFAN.
The High Court has stopped the prosecution of the former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko over the Sh10 million graft allegations.
Justice James Wakiaga of the anti-corrupton division suspended the trial, albeit temporarily pending hearing of the petition filed by Sonko.
“I do and hereby grant the petitioner temporarily conservatory orders upto June 23, 2021 when the matter is scheduled for mention for further directions thereon. The order is in respect of ACCNo., 2020 only,” ruled Judge Wakiaga.
Soonko challenged his prosecution before the High Court accusing trial magistrate Douglas Ogoti of bias. He wants him stopped from handling his trial.
He argued if Ogoti is allowed to continue hearing the case against him, he stands to suffer irreparable damage.
The former governor explained that he once asked the magistrate to recuse himself from his case but he dismissed the application.
“The petitioner has reasonable apprehension that during the trial of his case before chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti, good counsel, fairness and impartiality will not prevail and therefore the petitioner does not feel that his fundamental rights to a fair trial will be respected in the said court,” he said.
Sonko wants the case to be assigned to another magistrate of similar jurisdiction to ensure a fair trial.
In the case before the court, Sonko was accused of demanding Sh10 million bribe from Web Tribe Ltd through ROG Security Limited as an inducement to facilitate payments by the county government.
Web Tribe Ltd had been contracted by the Nairobi City County Government six years ago to collect revenue.
The governor is said to have committed the offence between January 10 and 19, 2019 within the city