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Sonko testifies afresh in Facebook impersonation case

Nairobi Senator Mike Sonko has denounced a Facebook account allegedly opened by a user to swindle money from the public.

The Senator testified on Wednesday in a criminal case at the Milimani law courts in which Mr Joseph Gitau is charged with opening the Mike Sonko Foundation page on Facebook which was used to solicit money from the public.

Mr Sonko said he had never posted a request on the page to solicit for funds from the public.

Mr Gitau had requested that the case starts afresh after he wrote to Chief Justice Willy Mutunga that he had lost confidence in the previous trial court.

AN IMPOSTER

“The man is an imposter and a conman who used my name to fool well wishers on Facebook,” the Senator told principal magistrate Kennedy Cheruyoit.

Mr Gitau’s trial was to be concluded by senior principal magistrate Joseph Karanja but he made an application to start the case afresh.

He has denied charges of misuse of a licenced communication system and impersonating the Senator.

The prosecution alleges that he had conned over 3000 unsuspecting ” followers” by false pretenses by the time he was arrested in July 24 2015.

The accused Mr Joseph Gitau in court on March 30, 2016. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU
The accused Mr Joseph Gitau in court on March 30, 2016. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU

“During investigations, two other Facebook page accounts, that’s Mike Sonko National Counties Walk and Wanjiku Voice of Kenya, emerged and are still being investigated,” Mr Sonko said on Wednesday.

Asked whether he knew the accused person, the Senator said he only came to know of him in court after his arrest.

RAPING STUDENT

“I also learnt that he had been accused of raping a university student after posing as a person who would find her a sponsor,” the Senator told the court.

In cross examination, the suspect asked Sonko whether the Mike Sonko Foundation was a registered body, of which the Senator said it was not.

The prosecution told the trial court that Mr Gitau posted a message to the effect: “This morning, I have issued cheques worth Sh6.2 million to Kenyans who sent to me Sh 1,000 on my M-Pesa line 0713004255. Keep on sending as I will continue giving out millions. To all my fans, comment wisely to avoid to be banned (sic) from this page”.

The prosecution said the offence was committed on July 11, 2014 and “caused needless anxiety to the community of Facebook users”.

On Wednesday, Mr Sonko and the accused exchanged harsh words before the magistrate called them to order.

“I don’t know you. You are a thief who preyed on vulnerable Kenyans,” the Senator told the accused.