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Sonko moves to bar Justice Mumbi Ngugi, 2 others from hearing his cases

Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko when he appeared before the anti-corruption magistrate court at the Milimani Law Courts on Wednesday, December 11/CFM – Moses Muoki

NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 19 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has filed an application to have three judges disqualified from hearing his graft cases.

Sonko, in the latest petition filed Thursday, wants Justices Mumbi Ngugi, Grace Ngenye and John Onyiengo, barred from his cases over their decisions to prohibit indicted governors from accessing their official offices.

He noted that Lady Justice Ngugi stopped Samburu Governor Moses Kasaine from accessing his office after he was charged before the anti-corruption court, while Lady Justice Ngenye barred Kiambu’s Ferdinand Waitutu.

Justice Onyiengo is handling anti-corruption division matters.

Harrison Kinyanjui, who filed the latest petition argued that graft charges should not be used as a basis to bar elected officials from office.

“The governors are elected leaders and the anti-corruption court cannot act as an election court,” he said.

He pointed out that when President Uhuru Kenyatta and his deputy William Ruto were charged at the International Criminal Court in the Hague, they were not compelled to vacate their offices.

“The anti-corruption   court has declared the county as scene of crime contrary to the law and the constitution,” the lawyer said.

Sonko further filed for a review of an order issued by anti-corruption chief magistrate Douglas Ogoti barring him from accessing his office.

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The order was issued on December 12 when he was freed on bail after pleading to graft charges resulting form the misappropriation of Sh357.4 million.

Meanwhile Sonko’s application challenging his indictment and investigation by Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) will now be heard on March 25.

His lawyer Cecil Miller indicated he will be filling an application to have the file forwarded to Justice David Maraga to appoint three-judge bench to hear an determine the matter.

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