Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko leaves the courtroom on December 11, 2019
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko leaves the courtroom on December 11, 2019

Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko was dramatically whisked away to the high security Kamiti Prison as the government prepared terror charges against the embattled city politician.

He was, however, transferred back to Gigiri police station cells on Wednesday evening pending the hearing of an application in which the police seek to have him detained for 30 days as they carry out investigations over his alleged involvement in terrorist activities.

Chief Inspector Newton Thimangu of the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit said in an affidavit that Sonko is “recruiting a militia group to disrupt the peace and stability of the nation leading to anarchy which can escalate to civil disobedience of law and order to the detriment of peace-loving Kenyans”.

Earlier, one of his lawyers, Assa Nyakundi, said he was on Wednesday evening heading to Kamiti where they were informed Sonko was scheduled to face terrorism-related charges.

“There is a huge traffic jam but I am told he is already at Kamiti waiting a possible arraignment. We are informed police have sworn an affidavit seeking to hold him for 30 days over terrorism-related charges,” said Nyakundi.

He said police sped off from Milimani law courts and they lost their trail on the way. Sonko was being guarded by officers from Anti-Terrorism Police Unit, which deals with terrorism suspects. Sonko had earlier appeared at the Milimani law courts for his corruption related charges.

 Sonko will appear before the Kahawa West Law court – a new court for the hearing of terror cases – on Thursday for the hearing of the application.

Sonko had expected a smooth and eventless return to Gigiri police station as he awaited appearance at the Kiambu court for a decision about his bail application in relation to 12 assault and robbery charges.

But his day was turned upside down when he learnt that new charges await him.

The Judiciary last year opened the Kahawa West law court inside Kamiti Prison. The new court where Sonko was to take a plea as per the police is the first and largest court in Kenya dedicated to counter-terrorism and related high-risk cases.

Thimangu says the former governor has been wearing  military attire that is associated with terrorism groups who pose a national security threat to the sovereignty of the country and hence the need to have the suspect detained for comprehensive investigations.

“The suspect herein has started arming his private security agents with full military attire namely military boots, military jungle uniforms and firearms.

“The suspect who was in company of unknown persons had worn militia attire and together with the suspect they were both spotted in public in full glare of the media and in front of huge mass of people in a public rally,” says part of affidavit.

He added he had intelligence information Sonko is connected to financing of terrorism activities and is in the advanced stage of procuring arms and ammunition using a wide syndicate which is complex and sophisticated.

Thimangu added coded signal portray that the militia are ready and that they will be armed to create a threat to the citizens through triggering acts of war in Kenya.

“It will be in the best interest that this court finds it prudent to grant custodial detention period of 30 days to enable investigations relating to this intelligence information to be thoroughly undertaken with a view of preventing, intercepting and or interrupting the criminal understandings by the suspect and his associates to forestall imminent danger,” says part of the affidavit.