Embattled Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko successfully pleaded with the high court to release him in 2001 after he claimed that he suffered from HIV and chronic TB and his chances of survival were very minimal.
Sonko had been jailed for 12 months for the offence of failing to appear in court and escape from prison. Sonko mysteriously escaped from Shimo la Tewa Maximum Prison in 1998 after being admitted at the Coast General Hospital.
He was re-arrested in Nairobi for another offence in 2000 and taken to Industrial Area Remand Prison. The officer in charge of Industrial Area alerted his counterpart at Shimo La Tewa and this is when he was slapped with the sentence. He was transferred to Kamiti Maximum Prison.
In 2001, Sonko filed an affidavit in court to be released on medical grounds. He said he suffered from HIV and chronic Tuberculosis. He also said he had peptic ulcers.
“Currently I am admitted at the prison hospital and my chances of survival are very minimal hence seek to be released on medical grounds or in compliance of the Presidential Amnesty Exercise dated 12/12/2000,” reads part of the affidavit.
He also said he had lost his mum who was single and his siblings needed him to pay for their school fees.
“I have undergone a lot of suffering. I lost my mother while in prison. She was a single parent and my only hope. My younger brother and sister are still in school and now depend on me. My wife was thrown out of the house and all the belonging seized,” he said.
Nairobi Hogh Court Judge Samuel Oguk released Sonko based on the affidavit. Oguk is now deceased.
In June this year, a local daily reported about Sonko’s HIV status. The governor sued the newspaper for defamation and produced a medical report certifying that he was of sound health.
Sonko is currently admitted at the Kenyatta National Hospital after falling ill at Kamiti Maximum Prison on Monday night. According to his handlers, the governor suffered from high blood pressure and chest pains.
He is due to appear in court for the determination of his bail application. The governor and his associates are facing numerous corruption charges.