Justice Mumbi Ngugi on Thursday, January 16, delivered a fresh blow to Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko as she declined to issue an express stay order for a corruption case against him in which he is accused of misappropriating Ksh357 million.
Sonko had sought to stay the case arguing that the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) was biased in its investigation as he alleged the agency was in on a scheme to hound him out of office.
“I am not satisfied with the reason given for a stay,” noted Justice Ngugi in her ruling.
Sonko’s lawyers Cecil Miller and George Kithi had on January 16, sought an order to stay the proceedings citing misconduct by officials undertaking investigations into the case.
They further accused the anti-graft agency of infringing on Sonko’s constitutional rights.
In addition, Sonko’s legal team had asked the court to refer the matter to Chief Justice David Maraga whom they wanted to constitute a three-judge bench to consider the application.
“Miller asked for a stay of proceedings of the criminal trial. I have not heard why the order was not sought (earlier) before the respective court in the separate application pending hearing on March 25, 2020,” noted Justice Ngugi, referencing a similar petition filed by Sonko in 2019 which was also rejected.
Ngugi reiterated that she could not issue an express stay order as sought, noting that the state also needed to be given enough time to reply.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) was given seven days to file a reply on the application for a three-judge bench.
In the separate application to be heard on March 25, Sonko had sought to have three judges recuse themsleves from hearing his case claiming prejudice.
Lawyers representing the state, however, dismissed the application as an attempt at “short-circuiting the determination of the pending petition.”