Sakaja ‘cannot be traced’ hours after his release

Monday, July 20th, 2020 00:00 |
Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja. Photo/PD/SAMUEL KARIUKI

Nairobi Senator Johnson Sakaja went into hiding after he was released from police custody on Saturday morning for flouting curfew orders.

The senator was then arrested on Saturday morning along Dennis Pritt road but was later released to report at the station for processing.

Instead, he left both his car and phone at his residence and proceeded to the house of a senior civil servant in Karen, according to the police.

Sakaja also faces another charge of incitement and creating disturbance.

Officers from Kilimani Police Station had on Saturday at around 1.10am went to Ladies Lounge where they found Sakaja among a group of 10 people seated outside drinking.

The officers directed them to leave but he refused, prompting the arrest.

Nairobi Region Police Commander Philip Ndolo yesterday said the senator had been released on condition that he returns to the station for processing for court.

“He agreed to come back and complete this process but now he cannot be reached. We still want him here,” he said.

Coronavirus spread

Sakaja is also accused of inciting some patrons and defying police orders to leave the premises.

During the arrest, he also threatened transfer all police officers from Kilimani police division within 24 hours.

He had initially dismissed the officers who first went to the club. Later, the Kilimani Deputy sub-county commander Adan Hassan was sent to the area with a reinforcement and arrested him.

Curfew hours were extended to between 9pm to 4am as part of efforts to contain the spread of the virus while bars are banned from operating.

The club’s manager and a cleaner were also arrested and by yesterday were still in custody.

Their lawyer Cliff Ombeta however protested saying his clients were arrested when they reported on duty in the morning.

“They work only during the day and both have health and Covid-19 certificates. Why should police detain them for over 24 hours for such petty offences,” Ombeta said.

Shortly after he was released, the senator denied having been arrested. He tweeted: “Never been arrested. Won’t be. Show me an OB Number.”

Ironically, Sakaja chairs the Senate ad hoc committee on Covid-19 pandemic in Kenya.

The committee collected views on the Pandemic Response and Management Bill, 2020.

The committee was mandated to oversight actions and measures taken by the national and county governments in addressing the spread and effects of the Covid-19 pandemic in the country.

The rules were put in place to contain the spread of the pandemic in the country.

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