‘Broke’ Sonko given access to his frozen bank accounts

By , K24 Digital
On Tue, 4 Feb, 2020 11:56 | < 1 min read
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO/Courtesy
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko. PHOTO/Courtesy

Nairobi Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku has allowed embattled governor, Mike Sonko, access to his bank accounts.

Sonko's five bank accounts were frozen in December 2019 by the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) during investigations over alleged theft of public funds and money laundering.

The magistrate in her ruling on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, said that ARA was using expired court orders and that their actions were unlawful.

"The continued freezing of the accounts will be highly prejudicial to the holders of the accounts and I, therefore, direct the unfreezing of the accounts by the agency, " she ruled.

The accounts were frozen on December 11, 2019, and orders that lapsed on December 23, 2019.

Sonko, through his lawyer, challenged the orders, which also allowed ARA to look at his statements of accounts, account opening statements, cash and cheque deposit slips, withdrawals and RTGS from January 2017.

Sonko's lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui said freezing his bank account was unjust, oppressive and unconstitutional and without merit.

Kinyanjui said the court was not given compelling reasons or proof to raise reasonable suspicion on claims of fraudulent transactions related to his bank accounts.

The named banks are Kenya Commercial Bank, Diamond Trust, Cooperative Bank I&M Bank, Sidian Bank, Bank of Africa and Equity Bank.

Sonko and his associates are in court battling charges of conspiracy to commit corruption, failure to comply with laws related to procurement, unlawful acquisition of public property and laundering the proceeds of crime.

On Monday, the magistrate gave the ARA 10 days to lift the freeze on Sonko's accounts.

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