Nairobi Governor Mike Mbuvi Sonko was dramatically arrested last Friday morning at Ndii area in Voi Sub-county along Nairobi-Mombasa Highway while on the run to Mombasa hours after office of Director of Public Prosecution issued a warrant for his arrest.
Police sources said the flashy Governor who was in a convoy of four-vehicle was intercepted at a roadblock in Voi while driving to Mombasa.
He was in the company of his wife and bodyguards who helplessly watched the unfolding events as he was bundled into a waiting police car.
The Governor was rushed to Voi Railway Police Station as senior police officers went into an emergency meeting to deliberate on the best way to return the Governor to Nairobi.
In a tweet, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) confirmed the arrest of the Governor at the Voi road block and said he would be transferred to Nairobi to face charges of corruption and economic crimes.
Earlier on, a covert intelligence-led operation was conducted to establish the whereabouts of the Governor after false reported implied he might be aboard the inter-county Standard Gauge Railway (SGR).
“The report that he was in SGR was a red herring. The information was to fool and lead us to the wrong direction,” the source disclosed.
The multi-agency operation brought together officers from the Police, Directorate of Criminal Investigations, Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) detectives and officials from of National Intelligence Service.
Coast Regional Police boss, Rashid Yakub and Taita-Taveta County Commander, Saidi Kiprotich, were amongst senior officials involved in the operation.
Confidential reports say the idea of using Mombasa-Nairobi SGR train to take Sonko back to the city was floated but rejected due to the nightmarish scenario on how to maneuver such a high-profile individual inside a crowded passenger train. There was also the other challenge of embarking when he arrives at Nairobi terminus.
It was decided airlifting the Governor was the best option. Calls were made to Nairobi and a police chopper was dispatched to Ikanga Airstrip in the outskirts of Voi town. Governor Sonko was transferred into police car and driven quietly through the Voi Central Business District (CBD) under heavy security.
It was at the deserted airstrip that gravity of his arrest dawned on the beleaguered Governor.
He kicked up a ruckus and adamantly refused to board the plane. A fifteen-minute stand-off between the Governor, his body guards and police ensured.
Fists flew, curses erupted and tempers flared. In the melee, the Governor had his white tee-shirt torn and he lost his right shoe.
The fierce pull-and-shove almost escalated into a fist-fight after one of his bodyguard tried to cling to the Governor preventing him from boarding the plane. He was roughed up by the police and had to flee to a waiting car.
Left alone, the police surrounded the isolated Governor and handcuffed him. Moments later, a defeated-looking Mike Sonko was frog-marched into the waiting plane which took off shortly afterwards.
Journalists who were at the scene had a rough time as they were stoned by Sonko’s bodyguards who did not want them to take videos.
By Wagema Mwangi