Dr Miguna Miguna, the self-declared general of the National Resistance Movement, was bundled into a plane and dumped in Dubai by two officers from the elite General Service Unit on Wednesday night, the Nation has established.
The two officers, drawn from a squad that specialises in escorting deportees, sandwiched Dr Miguna during the five-hour journey from Nairobi to the United Arab Emirates.
And, while Dr Miguna claimed he had been drugged before being put on the Emirates plane, a senior security officer denied the claim.
The denial, however, did not subtract anything from Dr Miguna’s long nights of isolation, humiliation and sheer brutality as police tried to silence the controversial lawyer at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA), where he was held for two days after refusing to sign immigration papers and have his Canadian passport stamped.
Deported in February, Dr Miguna claims Kenyan and Canadian citizenship, but the government says he renounced his Kenyan birth right when he acquired his Canadian passport.
Our reconstruction of the events leading to his second ejection from the country is obtained from the accounts of a human rights activist who spent more than five hours with Dr Miguna, Dr Miguna himself, and an immigration official.
Mr Kamanda Mucheke, the principal human rights officer at the Kenya National Commission on Human Rights (KNCHR), was the only civilian granted access to Dr Miguna on the day he was deported, and says police officers pounced on the opposition activist after he left to buy him food at 8.30pm on Wednesday.
Before that, he said, all seemed calm, although there was no sign that Dr Miguna would be released from a “very hot and stuffy” toilet meant for the disabled that was his cell at JKIA for more than 24 hours.
It was while he was at a café within the terminus waiting for the food to be packed that events started unfolding.
The first was a frantic run by lawyers Nelson Havi and Julie Soweto towards the café.
“They were in panic,” Mr Mucheke said. “They had been beaten and wanted to quickly exit the airport because GSU officers were pursuing them.”
Sensing danger, Mr Mucheke ran towards his car but before he could get in, Dr Miguna called him in distress.
"They are killing me," he told me. "Please come quickly and inform everyone."
But the phone was abruptly switched off. He rushed back to Terminal 2, where Mr Miguna was being held, only to be confronted by more than 100 GSU officers “armed to the teeth”.
Unable to access Dr Miguna, Mr Mucheke retreated to his car and called his supervisor, KNCHR chairperson Kagwiria Mbogori.
He left the airport a few minutes past midnight.
About an hour earlier, at 10.58pm, pro-Jubilee blogger Pauline Njoroge, who last December got a Head of State commendation, had tweeted that the lawyer had “made himself comfortable on seat 45J” of the Emirates plane to Dubai.
Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria also took to his Facebook page at 11.23pm to announce that Dr Miguna was on the same flight as him.
Airport data indicates that the plane left Nairobi at 11.19pm on Wednesday.
Mr Jimmy Edwin Nyikuli, a legal officer in the investigations and prosecution section of the Immigration Department, said in an affidavit filed in the High Court in Nairobi that Dr Miguna could only be deported on an Emirates flight since that had been his carrier when he landed in Kenya on Monday.
“He was declared an undocumented person and the Emirates compelled to return him to his country of last embarkation,” Mr Nyikuli, who also denied that Dr Miguna had been held incommunicado in a toilet at JKIA, said.
Dr Miguna says about 50 “heavily armed thugs” led by a uniformed policeman who had commanded them on Monday “violently broke into the toilet I had been detained incommunicado in at the Jomo Kenyatta Airport” on Wednesday night.
“They didn’t identify themselves and wrestled me to the ground, held onto and sat on me as a group of four different thugs injected substances to both my soles, arms, hands, both sides of my ribs and basically all over my body until I passed out,” he wrote on his Facebook account on Thursday.
After they landed in Dubai, he asked the person seated next to him where they were, and he was duly informed.
He says the stranger looked like a “Flying Squad police officer”.
He said he had pains in his chest, left wrist, right elbow and feet, and checked into hospital in the country.
KNCHR, which has been following up on the Miguna case because of a court order and will be filing a report in court, also said it was disappointed by some of the lawyer’s decisions.
“I was disappointed with Dr Miguna because the court order had allowed him to use his Canadian passport to gain entry into the country,” Ms Mbogori, the KNCHR chair, said.
“I had expected him at least to use it to gain entry into the country, and his refusal boggled us. There were some missteps on both sides.”
The Department of Immigration had on Tuesday issued application papers to Miguna to enable him start the process of enabling him regain his Kenyan citizenship as ordered by the courts, and to also facilitate his entry into the country after he refused to produce the Canadian passport he had used to travel back to Kenya.
But when the application documents were delivered to him in the presence of the Consular Officer of the Canadian High Commission to Kenya, Ms Fiona Jarvis, Mr Miguna refused to fill in the relevant details and sign the forms. Instead, he tore the official documents and was denied entry.