That the past few months have not been easy for Nairobi County governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko is an understatement.
Sonko now stares at prosecution over Ksh357 million graft allegations after the Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji ordered for his immediate arrest on Friday morning.
In September, the governor was on record saying that if linked with graft he will resign.
“We must sustain the fight against graft and we cannot purport to do so and remain in office after being accused. So that is a cross I will carry on my own in support of President Uhuru Kenyatta’s fight against graft,” said Sonko.
In a statement, Haji stated that he had independently reviewed investigation file by the Ethics and Anti-corruption Commission (EACC) on allegations levelled on Sonko and was convinced that there was sufficient evidence to warrant his prosecution.
“Following a comprehensive investigation by the EACC and upon receiving and independently reviewing the investigation file I have found sufficient evidence to warrant prosecution and I have therefore ordered for the immediate arrest and arraignment in court of Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko,” said Haji.
So what happens to Nairobi County if Sonko keeps his word and resigns?
The constitution of Kenya is very clear on what happens if the position of the governor fells vacant when the incumbent county boss resigns; the deputy governor ascends to power.
But currently, the position of deputy governor is vacant following the resignation of Polycarp Igathe.
In such a scenario, Article 182 section 4 of the constitution, stipulates that the speaker of the assembly assumes the position of governor in an acting capacity.
“If a vacancy occurs in the office of the county governor and that of the deputy county governor is unable to act, the speaker of the county assembly shall act as county governor,” the constitution stipulates.
Therefore, if Sonko resigns, Speaker Beatrice Elachi will resume office as governor of Nairobi in acting capacity for a period of 60 days before the Nairobi electorates are allowed to elect another governor of their choice.
“If a vacancy occurs in the circumstances contemplated by clause (4), an election to the office of the county governor shall be held within sixty days after the speaker assumes the office of county governor, ” the constitution reads.
Sonko had been summoned by EACC over graft claims in the awarding of tenders in the financial years 2017/2018 and 2018/2019.
On his side, Sonko has accused the EACC Director of Investigation Abdi A. Mohamed of being the mastermind of his woes, alluding that he is being personal on his attack.