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Sonko grilled by police over ‘acting president’ remark

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko has recorded a statement with the police on his ‘acting president’ remark, Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett said on Monday.

Mr Boinett said that the senator’s file will now be presented to the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko for action.

Mr Tobiko had on Saturday ordered Mr Boinett to launch investigations after the senator declared himself “acting president” at a funeral in Athi River on Friday.

“Pursuant to Article 157(4) of the Constitution, I direct you to conduct urgent investigations into the said conduct and utterances, have Hon Sonko interrogated . . . and urgently forward the file to this office for appropriate action,” Mr Tobiko said in his letter to IG Joseph Boinett.

The IG on Monday confirmed that the senator had appeared before the police.

Hiyo maneno tumemalizana kitambo. Ameandika statement yake (We have already cleared with him. He has recorded his statement.) Once the file is complete, it will go to the DPP,” Mr Boinett said.

The IG did not, however, say when and where the senator appeared for interrogation and when the file will be forwarded to the DPP.

TREASONOUS REMARKS

On Friday, the flamboyant senator uttered what some lawyers have termed as treasonous remarks during the burial of former Kathiani MP Wavinya Ndeti’s husband.

“President Uhuru is in Togo; Deputy President William Ruto is in France. I am number three in command, politically, influence-wise and socially. I am now the acting president of the Republic of Kenya,” he told mourners in videos captured by various media houses and which have been circulating online.

There were two things that social media users using the hashtag #GrowUpSonko immediately pointed out after the video clips circulated online.

First, at the time he spoke, Deputy President William Ruto was actually in the country.

Second, the senator is not legally the third in command. That authority is bestowed on the Speaker of the National Assembly.

The current holder of that office Mr Justin Muturi was also in the country when the senator made his remarks.

Mr Sonko has since, however, said that his remarks were ‘edited” by media houses.

EDITED CLIP

“I hereby clarify that my utterances were altered in the edited clip to depict my social, political and influence-based position, as challenging presidency. I uphold my sworn oath to respect the Presidency and urge my fellow political leaders, regardless of their divide, to respect the same,” the senator in a statement, also posted on his Facebook page.

On Saturday, social media was awash with comments berating the senator for his actions, with senior counsel Ahmednassir Abdullahi saying his actions amounted to treason.

“When Sonko says he is acting president of the Republic of Kenya and that is legally false…he commits treason…wapi IG na DPP (Where is the Inspector General and the DPP?” the lawyer, tweeting as @ahmednasirlaw asked on Twitter.

But in his statement, Senator Sonko said the DPP’s move to order his interrogation was an “act of incompetency.”

“I am saddened by the fact that Keriako was reacting to his declaration which was propelled by dubious claims which his office ought to have thoroughly investigated. It’s a shame that the DPP would be influenced to act on such claims,” Senator Sonko said.

The senator in his defence promised to release what he said was an unedited footage from the event.

But even in the footage he shared on his Facebook page watermarked as “Mike Sonko TV”, the senator still makes the “acting president claim.”