Sonko’s Dubai Trip Cut Short as Court Declines to Release Passports

February 7, 2020

He may have been granted access to his bank accounts on Tuesday this week, but embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is still not allowed to leave the country.

The Anti-Corruption Court on Thursday cut short Sonko’s planned trip to the United Arab Emirates as it declined to release his travel documents.

Sonko had applied for the release of his Kenyan and diplomatic passports to travel to Dubai for a UN-Habitat conference on the city’s sustainable development. The conference takes place from 8th to 13th February 2020.

Sonko’s lawyer George Kithi argued that the county CEO had already made bookings and reservations at hotels using his personal finances and resources.

The court also heard that Sonko was willing to provide other sureties that the court would impose to ensure his return to Kenya.

However, the Milimani Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti ruled that releasing the documents will be like reviewing his own orders in which he barred Sonko from office.

Ogoti noted that the court does not know how Sonko got the invitation to attend the forum yet he did not attach any clearance from relevant Government officials.

The Court ruled that Sonko should only access the officer under the supervision of an investigating officer attached to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC).

“The applicant has failed to attach a clearance document as required of government’s officials when they are traveling,” said Ogoti.

“He needed to explain how he got the access. The court does not know how he got the letter. The release of the passport at this stage may lead to an abuse of office and the court is not ready to do that,” ruled Ogoti.

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