Court defers ruling on Sonko detention again

Wednesday, February 10th, 2021 00:00 |
Former Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko (centre) is being escorted to Kiambu High Court under heavy security from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations headquarters, Kiambu county, yesterday. Photo/PD/GERALD ITHANA

A ruling by the Kahawa Court on whether detectives could detain embattled former Nairobi county governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi for a month as they investigate his terror links was yesterday deferred for the second time after his defence team said he was very sick.

The Magistrate ordered that Sonko be escorted to Nairobi Hospital by the Anti-Terrorism Police Unit (ATPU) detectives until today when doctors from the said hospital are expected to submit a comprehensive report on his health today.

After a health report is submitted, the court will then rule on whether the detectives can detain him for 30 days to finalise the investigations.

The ATPU had last week told the court they had information of national security concern in which Sonko was believed to be deeply involved, and requested the court to grant them 30 days to complete investigations.

ATPU detectives also said it was believed that Sonko was 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, adding that there were reports that he was connected to financing terrorism.

Earlier yesterday, Sonko appeared before Kiambu Law Courts under tight security where he was later released on a Sh300,000 cash bail and a surety of the same amount by Kiambu Chief Magistrate Stella Atambo.

The court also ordered the embattled governor to cooperate with the investigation officer as he awaits to appear again in court on February 23 for the mention of his case.

The Magistrate at the same time gave the accused and the complainants the leeway of exploring the Alternative Dispute Resolution route.

In the Kiambu case, the court gave Sonko the leeway to explore Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) mechanism.

Here, after accepting responsibility, the dispute can be resolved outside the court through alternative means by Sonko reaching out to the complainants.

This implies that the case will not be prosecuted to finality through the trial

Through the ADR –a process for resolving disputes without resorting to full judicial proceedings –the case will not be prosecuted to finality and the complainants can withdraw their complaints.

Delayed presentation

The Kiambu Magistrate also explained that her delayed presentation of her ruling was occasioned by the defence’s lengthy submissions, which called for thorough comprehension and response.

While giving her ruling, she said that the prosecution had failed to indicate that the accused would infringe any of their grounds to deny Sonko bond.

‘This honourable court can’t rely on mere allegations to deny the accused bond or bail.

Keeping him in custody will be unfair. The court must uphold the law, be fair and objective,’ she said.

The governor who displayed a sickly and remorseful gait is charged with 10 counts chief among them being forceful entry into a private property.

He pensively sat at the dock accompanied by to AAR medics who kept checking both his blood pressure and body temperature.

His team of 10 lawyers led by George Khaminwa, Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta accused the prosecution of mishandling Sonko who was picked from Nairobi hospital where he has been hospitalised since Monday.

‘Our client should not be treated in a primitive manner. He was picked from hospital and hounded into a Landrover and yet there was a stand by ambulance,’ he said.

Atambo directed that the politician be accorded humane treatment and that proper medical care be availed to him.

The other 9 charges facing him are intertwined with the first charge with Sonko being accused of assaulting nine people in Buru Buru Phase Four.

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