Queries over how Westgate suspect got Kenyan ID

April 23, 2014 4:18 pm
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Adan is one of the four men being tried before Chief Magistrate Daniel Ochenja on charges of aiding the September 21, 2013 terror attack on the Westgate mall/FILE
Adan is one of the four men being tried before Chief Magistrate Daniel Ochenja on charges of aiding the September 21, 2013 terror attack on the Westgate mall/FILE
NAIROBI, Kenya, Apr 23 – As security agencies seek to rid Kenya of aliens, the Mandera County Registrar of Persons Salim Godana and a Mandera chief, Mohamed Omar, were tasked with explaining how Adan Abdikadir Adan, a suspected alien, obtained a Kenyan ID.

Adan is one of the four men being tried before Chief Magistrate Daniel Ochenja on charges of aiding the September 21, 2013 terror attack on the Westgate mall.

Adan is accused of obtaining a Kenyan ID number 27168535 on or before July 31, 2010, at the National Registration Bureau office in Mandera town within Mandera County yet he is a Somali national.

On Wednesday, Omar told the court that Adan, who was charged together with Mohamed Abdi, Liban Omar and Hussein Mustafah, must have obtained the ID fraudulently.

He said his signature was forged onto Adan’s application for an ID and said even the name of the Assistant Chief on the application was inaccurate.

“It’s not in a correct manner because the name that is indicated here is not right. He is the assistant of another sub-location, not the one indicated here,” he said.

He added that although his name was included in the minutes of a vetting exercise that cleared Adan for an ID, he said he had no idea who Adan was or who his parents were.

“If I don’t know the person, usually I know their parents,” he said.

In defence of Adan however, lawyer Mbugua Mureithi questioned Omar’s recollection of the vetting exercise which reportedly took place on August 20, 2007.

“How possible can it be for you to know every member of your location?” he posed.

He also said the timing of the Anti-terrorism police unit’s investigation into his client’s documents smacked of a conspiracy as he was charged on November 4, 2013 with being fraudulently in Kenya but the investigating officers sought out his records on January 15.

He went on to challenge the diligence at record keeping of Godana’s predecessors.

“Do these look like minutes? Where are the names of those who were disqualified? Don’t minutes usually have an agenda? How can we trust the irregularities in this document to be proof that my client obtained his ID fraudulently when the nature of the proof itself is in question?” he posed to Godana.

Even Ochenja quipped that minutes usually included, “a word of prayer.”

Godana then admitted that the irregularities in the minutes of the vetting exercise went beyond the inclusion of a number of locations and that he had never received any complaints regarding the 135 others who were cleared for IDs on August 20, 2007 in addition to Adan.

“Usually we vet one location at a time and yes, this is not how we write out our vetting minutes now,” he testified.

But despite Godana’s admission, prosecuting attorney Mungai Warui maintained that the hundreds of aliens arrested by police each day showed that even the 135 others allegedly cleared as eligible for IDs together with Aden could be aliens.

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