Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Noordin Haji says he will appeal the Anti-Corruption Court decision to acquit former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko from all corruption charges relating to the loss of funds in tender procurement at City Hall three years ago.
In a statement, Haji says the court did not consider the merits and substance of the case while acquitting the former governor.
“The ODPP will appeal against the ruling of Hon Ogoti delivered today acquitting all accused persons in the case of the former governor of Nairobi and others. The court acquitted on the basis that the charge sheet was defective, and not on the merits and substance of the case,” part of the statement reads.
“The prosecution called a total of 19 witnesses and produced 113 documentary exhibits in support of its case and closed its case on 27th July 2022. The former Governor of Nairobi was charged alongside others with the offence of conspiracy to commit an offence of Corruption, Conflict of Interest, Money Laundering and Acquisition of Proceeds of Crime.”
In his ruling delivered by Anti-Corruption Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti on Wednesday, December 21, 2022, Sonko and his co-accused person businessman Antony Ombok Jamal were freed for lack of evidence in the Ksh20 million graft case, terming the charges as defective.
“I find that the prosecution has failed to prove the case beyond a reasonable doubt. The entire case against all accused persons collapses under section 210 Criminal Procedure Code (CPC); they are now all acquitted,” Ogoti said.
While acquitting them, the magistrate said that all the 13 graft charges filed by the prosecution against Sonko and Jamal were defective as the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) failed to adduce evidence identifying the companies that were said to have been paid the money.
Ogoti further noted that no money was stolen from Nairobi County as no evidence was presented in court in regard to the loss of funds from the county government.
The court also threw out claims that the former governor illegally authorized payment for the tender.
In the case, Sonko was charged alongside ROG Security Limited and Jamal of conspiring to commit an offence of corruption namely abuse of office by extorting Ksh20 million as an inducement to facilitate payments to Web Tribe Limited by the Nairobi County government in January 2019.
The embattled former Nairobi governor was charged with another count of conflict of interest where knowingly acquired an indirect private interest in a contract with a public body to wit a contract for supply, implementation and maintenance of electronic revenue collection and payments issued by Nairobi County to Web Tribe by receiving Ksh20 million from the firm through ROG Security Limited.
Sonko and his co-accused person faced other charges of money laundering, abuse of office and acquisition of proceeds of crime which the court has acquitted for the failure of the state to prove them beyond a reasonable doubt.
After his acquittal, Sonko while addressing the media outside the court thanked the Judiciary saying that justice has finally prevailed despite the dramatic arrest and the prosecution he underwent three years ago.