Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko is Monday expected to be grilled by the police over claims he and government officials planned and executed chaos in the 2017 polls.
Sonko was summoned by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to record a statement after Interior Principal Secretary Karanja Kibicho complained he had been wrongly accused as the planner and executor of the said chaos.
Sonko said he, Kibicho and other unnamed state agents were involved in planning chaos to paint the ODM party in a bad light during the 2017 election season.
The PS said the claims were aimed at maligning him. He urged the police to pursue them to the end. The confessions by Sonko raised eyebrows, with ODM also demanding probe and action.
But Sonko might decline to record a statement because of a court order issued last week barring him from uttering any defamatory words against Kibicho in relation to land-grabbing claims.
He has been meeting with his lawyers to prepare him for the DCI session. Some of the lawyers advised him to neither talk to the detectives nor record a statement, citing the order.
Sonko confirmed he would be at the DCI but declined to divulge if he will record a statement. Declining may prompt a standoff as DCI officers argued the case in court has nothing to do with what they are investigating. Those who talked to the Star said they are investigating a crime he is linked to.
In relation to the land-grabbing claims, High Court Msagha Mbogholi issued the order after Kibicho, through lawyer Fred Ngatia, filed a case saying the false utterances by Sonko have damaged his character and reputation.
Mbogholi directed that the case be mentioned on February 11 for further directions.
The governor had been summoned to appear at the DCI offices on Wednesday at 8am but requested to be allowed to appear on Monday because he had a court date.
Sonko has since written to the Witness Protection Agency seeking that witnesses in the case be placed under protection. But the law says only the Directorate of Public Prosecutions can ask for that and even so, the matter must be active in court.
The DCI summons says Sonko is being investigated on allegations of undermining the authority of a public officer contrary to the Penal Code, incitement to violence and disobedience of the law.
“I have reasons to believe that you, Mike Sonko Mbuvi Gideon Kioko, has some information that can assist me in my investigations,” reads the summons issued by head of investigations John Kariuki.
According to court documents, Sonko, on January 24 during a rally in Dagoreti South, Nairobi, falsely stated and published words that Kibicho has associations with an individual or individuals involved in land-grabbing.
Sonko also said Kibicho was involved in criminal activities during the election period in 2017. But Kibicho says those false claims have since been published and aired by the media and the only way to avert further damage is for the court to issue the orders. He says Sonko did not even bother to ascertain whether his words were factual.
“Sonko published the words being fully aware that they were false and with reckless disregard for the impact the words would have against me,” he says.
The PS had separately dismissed the allegations and complained to the DCI last Monday. He challenged Sonko to table his evidence against him in court.
Kibicho told the police Sonko had admitted committing a serious crime. Kibicho distanced himself from the allegations and accused Sonko of character assassination.
He vowed that he would be seeking legal redress over the allegations and others on the death of former Vice President George Saitoti.
Kibicho said Sonko’s outbursts amounted to confession and admission of his involvement in a serious crime that should be acted on. He, however, denied the claims linking him to the same crime, terming them a total lie and desperate move by the former governor.
“All the manner of things he has said against me he must prove them one by one. I deserve to be treated right. He better prepares some good lawyers on criminality.
“Of course he has admitted he committed a crime. He will have to deal with it. And after he has dealt with the crimes he has publicly admitted committing, he will have to deal with my character assassination as well, and I am going for libel this week,” he said.