Security at KNH enhanced after Sonko admitted

Wednesday, December 11th, 2019 00:00 |
Kenyatta National Hospital. Photo/Courtesy

Security was heightened at the Kenyatta National Hospital (KNH) yesterday after Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko was admitted at the facility at 2am.

Sonko was admitted to Ward 10B on the 10th floor of the Tower Block, commonly referred to as Medical Level 10. 

Access to Wing ‘B’ on the floor and the general tower was restricted and all visitors were being vetted, save for doctors and two of the governor’s lawyers who were allowed unlimited access.

However, doctors, some of the city county executives and two of the governor’s lawyers were allowed access to the wing.

A senior officer who sought anonymity yesterday told the People Daily that adequate security arrangements had been made within and around the hospital to ensure that business went on normally.

“We cannot divulge the details about the security arrangements but can confirm that the deployment, though not overt, is adequate,” the officer said.

The hospital’s Corporate Communications Affairs manager, Hezekiah Gikambi, who confirmed that Sonko was admitted at the facility, was quick to clarify that no visitors were allowed to see him.

He added that the hospital was not in any way responsible (for the governor) and that anyone seeking to visit him had to liaise with the Kenya Prisons Service and the governor’s wife.

While appearing before the Milimani Court in Nairobi on Monday, Sonko was cited as a flight risk by the prosecutor, who told Chief Magistrate Douglas Ogoti that Sonko had escaped from a hospital bed on April 16, 1998 after he was taken ill at the Shimo La Tewa Prison in the Coast. 

The governor is expected in court this morning where the magistrate is expected to rule on his bail application.

After his arrest last Friday, Sonko was handed over to Nairobi Police Boss Philip Ndolo who escorted him from the Wilson Airport to the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) offices at Integrity Centre.

He was placed in custody until Monday morning when he was taken to Milimani Law Courts where his lawyers claimed he had been experiencing chest pains since his arrest.

Confirmed pains

The lawyers produced a report by Dr Esther Nafula of MP Shah Hospital that confirmed the pains and recommended that Sonko be attended to by a specialist.

However, the court ordered that the governor be examined at the Prison’s medical centre to establish his condition and determine whether he should see a specialist.

“Due to the urgency of the medical treatment of the accused (Mike Sonko), though disputed, it is ordered that his admission to hospital will be certified by the Prison medical centre in the presence of his physician in order for him to be escorted to any hospital for his medical attention as soon as that can be arranged,” magistrate Ogoti ruled.

Sonko was to be remanded at the Industrial Area Remand Prison but was later transferred to Kamiti Maximum Prison.

Yesterday, a senior prisons official, Kennedy Aluda, said Sonko was moved to Kamiti because the prison has a better health facility for assessment as directed by the court.

On whether the governor will be in a position to attend court this morning for a decision on his bail application, Aluda said that was not for the Prisons Service to determine.

“He’s in the hands of competent doctors who will make that decision,” Aluda said.

Sonko’s defence lawyers, led by Cecil Miller, had requested that he be detained together with his co-accused but the magistrate declined, saying they had pleaded to the charges, and that prison was the only place they could be remanded.

Authorities said Sonko was taken to the Kenyatta National Hospital yesterday at 2am from Kamiti after he claimed his blood pressure had risen and the chest pains worsened. 

The Nairobi County Communication Director Elkana Jacob yesterday evening said the governor was being treated like any other sick person, but since he was under tight security, visits were restricted.

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