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Kidero man caught up in Sonko bribery claims freed by court

Nairobi County Chief of Staff George Wainaina Njogu was a happy man on Tuesday after the High Court quashed criminal charges against him.

Mr Njogu was charged in January last year, alongside an assistant at his office- Roselyne Oluoch with offering a bribe to Nairobi Senator Mike Mbuvi Sonko.

The charges stated that on January 5, 2016 together with Ms Oluoch, they corruptly offered a benefit to Mr Sonko contrary to Section 39 (3) of the Anti-Corruption and Economic Crimes Act of 2003.

It was alleged that they offered Mr Sonko Sh1 million, as an inducement, for him to stop pursuing a story on how senior officers at City Hall were acquiring and developing properties using public funds.

The court heard that Mr Sonko was to hold a press conference, revealing how senior City Hall officials were corruptly enriching themselves.

In his defence, Mr Njogu told the court that Mr Sonko had requested a Christmas gift of Sh500,000 from him and other senior officials at the Nairobi County Government.

EXTORTION BID

He said Mr Sonko was on an extortion bid, and appeared to have orchestrated his arrest, using EACC officials.

In the Judgment, Justice Joseph Onguto said Mr Sonko’s role “cannot be simply gainsaid”.

“Besides being the complainant, the 3rd responded (Sonko) struck me as having overbearing in the circumstances. He lodged the complaint but then opted not to go mute and wait the result of the investigations. He appeared on top of what was happening. He knew who was going to be arrested and who should be arraigned in court and when,” the Judge ruled.

SENATOR’S MACHINATIONS

He said he was convinced that the expedited investigations had something to do with the Nairobi Senator’s machinations.

“He over-asserted himself in a manner as to leave any reasonable bystander to conclude that he dictated the process,” Justice Onguto said.

The Court also added that in the absence of EACC commissioners- who were not in place then- meant that officials acting then could not have recommended the prosecution of Mr Njogu.

The Judge quashed the charges Mr Njogu was facing and directed that the trail, which was pending at a magistrate’s court, be stopped forthwith.