NAIROBI, Kenya, Dec 6 – Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was flown to Wilson Airport Friday afternoon following a dramatic arrest in Voi where Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives caught up with him while he was reportedly on the run.
A video shared widely online showed the county chief who is due to be arraigned in court on graft related charges 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.
Director of Public Prosecution Noordin Haji placed Sonko at the centre of a scandal involving embezzlement of public funds totaling 357.4 million.
Sonko and eight other City Hall officials are accused of conflict of interest having, “facilitated and/or benefitted from the irregular procurement and payments amounting to Sh357, 390,299 million.”
Haji on Friday told journalists that he had sufficient evidence to warrant the prosecution of the county chief after reviewing a file handed to him by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission.
Sonko arrived at EACC headquarters in Nairobi in handcuffs and under heavy security and quickly whisked inside the establishment.
The DPP in his earlier statement cautioned Sonko’s supporters against causing chaos saying this will not be tolerated.
In November anti-riot police teargassed hundreds of Sonko supporters who were marching to the EACC headquarters where he was being questioned.
DPP said the actions of Sonko’s supporters frustrated investigators during the probe.
“Any attempts to instigate social unrest and incite the public will be countered with whole of government response. Members of the public are advised not to allow themselves to be used as human shields in the defence of these officials charged. Any person who engages in such behaviour will be dealt by whole of Government and held individually liable,” he said.
Through a statement before arriving at EACC, Sonko said that he was ready to defend himself in court while also urging his supporters to remain calm.
“I call upon my supporters and Nairobi residents in particular to be calm as I deal with this temporary insubordination, I assure everyone that I shall not be intimidated and wouldn’t be moved an inch by political traps,” Sonko stated.