Nairobi governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko has been arrested over alleged misappropriation of Ksh357 million from county coffers.
The governor, according to the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC), was arrested while escaping arrest at a roadblock in Voi, Taita Taveta County.
“EACC confirms that Nairobi City County Governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi has been arrested while escaping arrest at a roadblock in Voi and is being transferred to Nairobi to face charges of corruption and economic crime, ” EACC said in a tweet.
@EACCKenya confirms that Nairobi City County Governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi has been arrested while escaping arrest at a road block in Voi and is being transferred to Nairobi to face charges of corruption and economic crime.
— EACC (@EACCKenya) December 6, 2019
This comes hours after the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji ordered for his immediate arrest on Friday morning.
In a statement, Haji stated that he had independently reviewed investigation file by EACC on allegations levelled on Sonko and was convinced that there was sufficient evidence to warrant his prosecution.
“Following a comprehensive investigation by the EACC and upon receiving and independently reviewing the investigation file I have found sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution and I have therefore ordered for the immediate arrest and arraignment in court of Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko,” said Haji.
The governor has been on EACC radar for months now over alleged flawed tenders that were illegally awarded.
It is alleged that Sonko was involved in forging documents, with four companies owned by his close aides diverting funds to his account.
On his side, Sonko has accused the EACC Director of Investigation Abdi A. Mohamed of being the mastermind of his woes, alluding that he is being personal on his attack.
What Next For Nairobi?
In September, the governor was on record saying that if linked with graft he will resign.
“We must sustain the fight against graft and we cannot purport to do so and remain in office after being accused. So that is a cross I will carry on my own in support of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s fight against graft,” said Sonko.
The constitution of Kenya is very clear on what happens if the position of the governor fells vacant when the incumbent county boss resigns; the deputy governor ascends to power.
But currently, the position of deputy governor is vacant following the resignation of Polycarp Igathe.
In such a scenario, Article 182 section 4 of the constitution, stipulates that the speaker of the assembly assumes the position of governor in an acting capacity.
“If a vacancy occurs in the office of the county governor and that of the deputy county governor is unable to act, the speaker of the county assembly shall act as county governor,” the constitution stipulates.
Therefore, if Sonko resigns, Speaker Beatrice Elachi will resume office as governor of Nairobi in acting capacity for a period of 60 days before the Nairobi electorates are allowed to elect another governor of their choice.
“If a vacancy occurs in the circumstances contemplated by clause (4), an election to the office of the county governor shall be held within sixty days after the speaker assumes the office of county governor, ” the constitution reads.