Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko has moved to court to challenge orders freezing 10 of his bank accounts holding Sh18 million.
Justice Luka Kimaru issued the freeze orders on February 6, which Sonko now claims amount to abuse of the court process.
In his application filed at the Milimani Law Courts on Tuesday, May 19, Sonko wants the orders dismissed, arguing that he was not accorded an opportunity to defend himself, hence his right to a fair trial was violated.
Noting that the freeze orders have been “oppressive, draconian and harsh to him”, Sonko said he has never received any summons, telephone call or even a request in writing from the Asset Recovery Agency to explain any deposit, withdrawal, transfer, or transaction in the frozen accounts.
“The agency did not furnish the court with any compelling grounds or proof to raise reasonable suspicion with respect to any fraudulent transaction related to the bank accounts in question. It only made unsubstantiated claims,” Sonko submitted through his lawyer Harrison Kinyanjui.
Sonko further argues that the order issued by Kimaru expired after 14 days, yet ARA continues to rely on it to freeze his accounts.
At the same time, the former Nairobi Senator claims that he was not the Governor at the time(between 2017 and 2019) the Agency alleges funds were looted from county coffers.
“It is not enough for the Agency to merely make allegations based on wild unspecified suspicions. I believe that the burden of proof lies with them to make out a strong case based on verifiable facts,” he says.
“It is manifestly oppressive of the Asset Recovery Agency to have then secured summary orders against me in the manner I have complained of herein,” Sonko adds.
The frozen funds are held in six accounts at Equity Bank, three at Diamond Trust Bank and another at the Co-operative Bank of Kenya.