NAIROBI, Kenya Sep 5 – A close ally of murdered controversial cleric Aboud Rogo was on Wednesday remanded in custody for two weeks after police declared him a “threat to the country’s security.”
Abubakar Sharif alias Makaburi who is listed in the UN and US sanctions list for facilitating Al Shabaab activities alongside the murdered cleric is charged for inciting Muslim youths into violent protests over Rogo’s August 27 killing.
“I pray to this honourable court that the accused should not be released on bond. The accused is likely to jeopardize investigations and threaten peace should the court decide to bail him,” Senior Inspector Joseph Tuksho, an officer leading investigations into his activities told the court.
The officer convinced the court that the suspect was likely to tamper with evidence in his case or witnesses testifying against him, should he be set free.
“Most of the witnesses have refused to corporate with the investigating team and the release of the accused and his associates are likely to hold more demonstrations in Mombasa to protest the killing of Aboud Rogo,” Tuksho said in his submission before Elvis Micheka.
Rogo was killed when unknown gunmen blocked his vehicle within Bamburi area and sprayed it with bullets before they sped off. His wife who was also in the vehicle sustained an injury on the leg and is still admitted to hospital.
Makaburi is accused of three counts where he has been charged with incitement to violence for allegedly saying that police officers should be killed, Imams working with the government should be slaughtered and the burning of churches and destruction of any properties.
The protests were held for three days, leading to the deaths of four people – including three prison officers who died after demonstrators hurled a grenade on their truck as they quelled the riots.
The accused has denied all the charges through his lawyer Mbugua Mureithi.
Mureithi said that the affidavit from the investigating officer did not disclose ways, means and capacity for the accused to do the things he is accused of.
“Constitutionally, every Kenyan has a right to demonstrate and petition the authority. My client participating in the said demonstrations constitutionally exercised his fundamental rights,” the lawyer said.
He argued that his client was law abiding because he even presented himself to court when he learnt that he was being sought.
“The accused brought himself to court after he learnt through the media that he was a wanted man. It is my submission that, the accused is a law binding Kenyan. This affidavit is very selective on my client as it ventured into speculations,” Mureithi said and pleaded to have his client set free on bond.
Prosecutor Peter Munguti objected to Mureithi’s prayers, saying the accused had many cases pending in court and was engaged in committing more crimes.
“There is still tension in Mombasa. Churches are being guarded by police. I know it is the right for the accused to be bailed but police officers need more time to continue with their investigations before the accused could be allowed to make further applications,” Munguti said in his reply to Mureithi’s submissions.
The accused had claimed that he had been subjected to physical and mental torture by the police while in custody.
“Your honour police officers have refused to give me food and denied my family from visiting me and I feel my constitutional rights are being violated,” Makaburi told the packed courtroom.
The judge ordered the prosecutor to ensure the accused accesses basic needs such as food, clothing and proper housing facilities.
In his ruling, the judge said. “I have considered all the submissions and I order the accused be remanded in police custody until September 17 when his application to be released on bond will be heard and determined.”