The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji has supported a case by a Nairobi voter Peter Agoro who wants the nomination of Ann Mwenda as deputy governor of Nairobi quashed.
DPP has argued that the nomination of Mwenda if allowed would seriously interfere with the trial of Governor Mike Sonko.
According to documents filed in court, prosecution counsel Judy Thuguri says Sonko acted with impunity in nominating Mwenda and that the nomination was calculated to intimidate and interfere with witnesses in the corruption case.
Thuguri says vetting of Mwenda would be in violation of the orders of the trial court and should be stopped.
Last December, anti-corruption magistrate Douglas Ogoti barred Sonko from accessing county offices. The court, while laying out his bail terms, also barred Sonko from approaching any witnesses. The governor denied charges of money laundering and unlawful acquisition of public property at City Hall amounting to Sh357 million.
The DPP says in barring Sonko from office, the court was guided by a precedent indicating that being barred from office extended to conducting the functions of that office until the hearing and determination of the criminal cases.
“Sonko’s conduct in nominating Ann Mwenda outrightly disregarded the clear directives given by the trial court which has forced us to file an application before the trial court for cancellation of bond terms which is pending hearing,” Thuguri says.
The DPP says after nominating Mwenda, Sonko continues to violate the bond terms issued by the trial court by accessing his office and exercising the powers of the office of the governor.
But Sonko in response claims he was not suspended from office and he still has powers to conduct the functions of the office which he does from his private office in Upper Hill.
Sonko further alleges that being barred from office by the trial court was only limited to accessing the physical office of the governor located at City Hall, a position the DPP says is completely misguided.
“We believe that the court order barring Sonko from office was to protect the integrity and sanctity of the trial as well as secure the safety of the witnesses most of whom are employees of the county,” the DPP says.
Justice Mumbi Ngugi has since issued a temporary order stopping the county assembly from carrying on with the vetting of Mwenda. The order was issued on February 17 after the petitioner -Peter Agoro- argued that nomination of Anne Mwenda amounted to a direct insult of the orders issued against Governor Mike Sonko in December last year.
The case resumes on March 17.
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