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Kenya

Heavy security at Milimani court as Sonko set to face graft, assault charges

Front row: Mike Sonko and businessman Antony Ombok and others at the back who are facing corruption charges. /MOSES MUOKI.

NAIROBI, Kenya Dec 9 – There was heavy security at the Milimani Law Courts in Nairobi where Governor Mike Sonko was set to face corruption and assault charges on Monday morning.

Heavily armed anti-riot police officers were deployed around the court precincts following reports his supporters were planning to hold demonstrations, including the city centre to protest his arrest.

Sonko was escorted to court at 7 am in handcuffs, amid tight security.

He was set to face charges alongside county officials and businessmen accused of roles in a Sh357 million scandal.

Former County Secretary Peter Kariuki and former procurement head Patrick Mwangangi are among 13 other suspects including tender committee members and directors of firms awarded questionable contracts.

Chief prosecutor Noordin Haji cited the officials for conflict of interest having, “facilitated and/or benefitted from the irregular procurement and payments amounting to Sh357, 390,299 million.”

Following his directive on Friday, Sonko was flown to Wilson Airport Friday afternoon following a dramatic arrest in Voi where EACC detectives caught up with him while he was reportedly on the run.

Sonko (pictured) arrived at EACC headquarters in Nairobi in handcuffs and under heavy security amid reports of a possible outbreak of protests by his supporters/COURTESY

A video shared widely online showed the county chief resisting arrest following police officers to handcuff him before forcing him into a police helicopter at the Ikanga airstrip in Taita Taveta.

EACC confirmed Sonko’s attempted escape despite the first-time Governor refuting claims that he resisted arrest in a statement shared by his office Friday afternoon.

“EACC confirms that Nairobi City County Governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi has been arrested while escaping arrest at a roadblock in Voi and is being transferred to Nairobi to face charges of corruption and economic crime,” the anti-graft agency tweeted.

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Haji told journalists that he had enough evidence to warrant the prosecution of the county chief after reviewing a file handed to him by the EACC.

Sonko arrived at EACC headquarters in Nairobi in handcuffs and under heavy security amid reports of a possible outbreak of protests by his supporters.

He said, in a statement dispatched by his office, he was ready to defend himself in court while also urging his supporters to remain calm.

Police Spokesman Charles Owino said the governor will face charges for assaulting a senior police officer in Voi during his arrest.

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