Elgeyo-Marakwet Senator Kipchumba Murkomen has jumped sharply to the defence of his legal client Governor Mike Sonko, after a section of Kenyans questioned the latter’s move to nominate a deputy governor.
According to legal and criminal experts, including Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji, Sonko, who had been arrested and held over graft accusations in December, acted in violation of the bail terms set upon his release from custody by undertaking the official duty of appointing a deputy.
Part of the conditions upon which Sonko was released was the directive that the county head should stay away from office as the prosecution investigates his case further.
“The court was clear on what Sonko cannot do. To purport to have the power to name a deputy while his case is still on is a violation of the bail terms given to him. We will move to court,” Haji stated on Monday.
However, according to Murkomen, Sonko’s legal team’s interpretation of the Appellate Court’s bail terms does not point towards any form of disobedience on the politician’s part.
He further noted that Sonko appointing a deputy, and the DPP protecting evidence by virtue of the governor staying away from office, are in no way connected.
Murkomen aired his legal opinion even as the spotlight dwells upon him, and several other legislators, who were on Dec. 12 called out by President Uhuru Kenyatta for abandoning their public service duties and instead focusing on their side businesses.
Of most concern to the head of state was the fact that lawmakers were all over courtrooms defending politicians against the same laws they (the legislators) are mandated with formulating in Parliament.
This, according to Uhuru, amounts to a serious conflict of interest.
Murkomen was part of the 12-member legal team representing the embattled Nairobi County head in court in his December hearings.
Makueni Senator Mutula Kilonzo Junior and Dan Maanzo, MP Makueni, were also representing Sonko in court during this period.