A Magistrates’ Court has allowed Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko to access his bank accounts.
Nairobi Chief Magistrate Martha Mutuku on Tuesday, February 4, 2020, ordered the Assets Recovery Agency to immediately unfreeze five bank accounts belonging to the embattled county boss.
The magistrate noted that ARA was using expired court orders and that their actions were unlawful. She said the agency failed to approach the court for an extension when the orders expired in December last year.
“The continued freezing of the accounts will be highly prejudicial to the holders of the accounts and I, therefore, direct the unfreezing of the accounts by the agency,” she ruled.
Sonko’s accounts were frozen on December 11, 2019, but Sonko challenged the orders that lapsed on December 23, 2019.
Sonko, through his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui, said freezing his bank accounts was unjust, oppressive, unconstitutional and without merit.
Kinyanjui argued that there is no evidence showing that monies held in his client’s bank account are proceeds of crime and as a result, the order by the Asset Recovery Agency to freeze his accounts hampered his family life.
The accounts are held Kenya Commercial Bank, Diamond Trust, Cooperative Bank I&M Bank, Sidian Bank, Bank of Africa and Equity Bank.
The magistrate gave ARA 10 days to lift the freeze on Sonko’s accounts.