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Sonko: I’m too broke to support my family

Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko now says that he is unable to financially support himself or his family.

His latest remarks comes after the Assets Recovery Agency (ARA) asked the court to freeze five of his accounts following claims of suspicious money transactions believed to be proceeds of crime “as a result of theft from Nairobi county government”.

ACCOUNTS FROZEN

Sonko’s five bank accounts that have been frozen are held in Diamond Trust Bank, National Bank, Equity Bank, Bank of Africa and Kenya Commercial Bank.

In an application filed through his lawyer, Harrison Kinyanjui, Sonko claimed that ARA suspended his bank accounts without an appropriate court order.

He alleged the assets recovery agency used an order issued ex-parte on December 11th, 2019 to freeze his bank accounts despite expiring 14 days later.

“To continue festering these bank accounts of the applicant in the manner complained of itself is a violation of the constitution,” Kinyanjui said on Tuesday.

The flashy governor, known for openly splashing millions and wearing costly and ostentatious bling, now says he is financially grounded and that he cannot support himself or his family and cannot even draw his salary as governor.

Last year during an interview, Sonko claimed that he was worth more than the county’s Sh38 billion annual budget.

City Hall tabled a Sh32 billion budget in June for the 2018/2019 financial year.

EMBEZZLEMENT

The governor made the claim in an interview on NTV’s Sidebar Show while responding to claims of misuse of public funds leveled against him.

He said he would never divert public funds to his private investments.

During the same show, Sonko paraded a heap of title deeds and vehicle logbooks as part of his wealth, saying if he liquidated all his assets he will be worth more than the county’s annual budget.

The governor explained that his wealth has grown from the matatu business he was running before becoming Makadara MP.

“I’m worth more than the annual budget of Nairobi and I’ve got some fixed deposit accounts about USD5 million in different banks,” Sonko said at the time.

Mr Sonko is facing charges of embezzling more than Sh357 million from the county government, including conspiracy to commit economic crime, willful failure to comply with the law and conflict of interest.

He was arrested late last year and charged in court but is out on a cash bail of Sh15 million although he has been barred from accessing his office for the duration of the trial.