Shimo la Tewa Maximum Security Prison has said in court documents that Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi, aka Mbuvi Gidion Kioko, needs to be charged with escaping from prison and serve his remaining sentence.
In response to an inquiry by the Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC), prisons authorities said “that Shimo la Tewa Prison indicated that the prisoner Mbuvi Gidion Kioko should serve the pending sentence as well as be charged for the offence of escaping from prison.”
Prison records forwarded to the EACC indicate that on March 12, 1998, Mbuvi Gidion Kioko was convicted of failing to attend court in CF 675/97 and was sentenced to pay a Sh200,000 fine or serve six months in prison in default.
He did not raise the fine and was committed to Shimo la Tewa to serve his custodial sentence.
On the same day, Mr Sonko was also sentenced to pay Sh500,000 or in default serve six months in prison for failing to appear for previous hearings in CF 1727/96. He was to serve both sentences concurrently for 12 months. He was admitted to Shimo la Tewa under prison number P/No. SHO/477/1998 and was scheduled to be released on March 11, 1999.
But he appeared to have mysteriously left the facility on April 16, 1998, a month after his incarceration.
More than two years later, on November 15, 2000, the officer in charge of Industrial Area Remand Prison sent a signal to Shimo la Tewa that one Mbuvi Gidion Kioko had been remanded awaiting other criminal offences.
The Prisons Department, which considered him a dangerous prisoner, transferred him to Kamiti Maximum Security Prison as prisoner number KAM/1255/001. He was released from on February 12, 2001.
The EACC registered a complaint on September 19, 2019, and started investigations based on information received from the Director of Public Prosecutions concerning Mr Sonko’s previous criminal records.
The DPP furnished the EACC with information on several cases in which Mr Sonko, using several aliases, had been charged with various criminal offences.
The EACC sought to verify the information from the DPP with several police stations and prison authorities and authenticated some of the information.
In court documents filed as a replying affidavit in Miscellaneous Cause No. 326 of 2019, the anti-graft agency says Mr Sonko also failed to disclose information in the self-declaration form that he had ever been convicted.
“That the first interested party, Hon Mike Mbuvi Sonko failed to disclose this information in the self-declaration form wherein one of the moral questions was: “Have you ever been convicted of any offence and sentenced to serve imprisonment for a period of at least six months?” He answered ‘No’, which from the foregoing information was not true
According to the court affidavit, Mr Sonko has contravened Sections 13, 29 and 30 of the Leadership Act, 2012 by failing to honestly present information to the public, falsifying records and giving false and misleading information to the Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission.
The EACC said it afforded Mr Sonko his constitutional right and an opportunity to respond to the allegations against him when they summoned him on November 5, 2019.
The agency denies the Nairobi governor’s allegations that he was not given time to respond and instead insists that in the presence of his lawyers, Mr Sonko responded to the allegations. His response was reduced into a statement that he and his lawyers read and signed.
In its application, the EACC says Mr Sonko’s application for leave to commence judicial review dated November 7, 2019, and filed in court on November 8, 2019, is an afterthought meant to scuttle and end the agency’s investigations.
In its replying affidavit, the EACC says its mandate to investigate breaches of provision of Chapter Six of the Constitution is derives from Article 252 (1)(a) and (d) of the Constitution Section 11 (1)(c), (d) and (e) of the EACC Act and Section 4 (2) and 42 (10) of the Leadership and Integrity Act.
Under Section 42 (10) of the Leadership and Integrity Act, the EACC is empowered to investigate any matter within its mandate either upon receiving a complaint or on its own motion.
The commission is empowered under Section 43 of the law to make recommendations to the DPP, pursuant to the investigations if in its opinion criminal proceedings ought to be preferred and to take any other action it considers necessary, notwithstanding the referral for criminal proceedings.
The EACC said in the court documents that Chapter Six of the Constitution and the Leadership and Integrity Act require State and public officers to be persons of the highest integrity as well as beyond reproach and Mr Sonko, being a State officer, is not exempted.
The commission further says that on July 11, the commission received a report that Mr Sonko had made false utterances against Nairobi Woman Representative Esther Passaris in a TV interview and further that he had made utterances meant to injure her reputation during Madaraka Day celebrations on June 1, 2019.
The EACC, upon receiving the complaint, launched an investigation into the allegations and whether there were any breaches of the relevant laws.