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Sang maintains stance on Joho’s links to illicit trade, to submit file to DCI

Sang termed claims that Ruto was engineering Joho’s downfall by linking him to drug peddling as diversionary tactics adopted to deflect attention from his alleged involvement in drug trafficking/FILE

NAIROBI, Kenya, Feb 5 – Nandi Governor Stephen Sang has undertaken to submit a fresh dossier to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) in two weeks linking his Mombasa counterpart Hassan Joho to drug trafficking.

In response to demand for him to retract a public statement he made linking Joho to a drug syndicate, the 34-year-old county chief on Tuesday said he will supply the criminal intelligence agency with a list of witnesses with knowledge of Joho’s illicit drug trade.

“The DCI and the Director of Public Prosecutions must be able to take this issue seriously and ensure that friends and accomplices of the Akasha brothers around this country are prosecuted,” Sang told a media briefing a day after Joho accused him of doing Deputy President William Ruto’s bidding to discredit him.

“If they cannot do that (prosecute them) they must extradite them to the United States,” he demanded.

Sang wondered why two members of Kenyan family linked to drug trafficking had within the shortest time following their extradition to the United States pleaded guilty to drug trafficking charges yet local authorities were unable to mount successful prosecutions.

“The Akashas were walking freely in this country yet they were prosecuted within the shortest time possible in the US while here in Kenya their accomplices continue to walk around freely,” he explained.

41-year-old Baktash Akasha and his 29-year old bother Ibrahim Akasha last year pleaded guilty to drug trafficking before a United States District Judge Victor Marrero, the two set for sentencing on March 15.

Sang termed claims that Ruto was engineering Joho’s downfall by linking him to drug peddling as diversionary tactics adopted to deflect attention from his alleged involvement in drug trafficking.

“This fraudster (Joho) must not divert our attention from serious criminal issues we’ve raised. It is clear that Joho is not only desperate to save his skin but somehow to maintain his madness and delusion that he is in the same league as the DP,” the Nandi Governor remarked.

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He called for the seizure of properties owned by drug barons in the country, urging the government to set up rehabilitation centers from proceeds of the same.

Joho who has openly declared that he has been specially designated to fight Ruto has described the DP as “the most corrupt government official” accusing him of spearheading most graft scandals in the county.

The Deputy Party Leader of the Opposition Orange Democratic Movement has vowed to work tirelessly to block Ruto’s presidential bid in 2022.

Joho recently wrote to the International Police Organization (Interpol) seeking clarity on reports that he was among drug barons listed in the Lyon-based agency watch list in November last year.

“This has caused irreparable damage and will continue to do so if there is no official confirmation from your office on the authenticity or lack thereof of the said statement and notice,” his lawyer wrote to the organization based in France on Tuesday last week.

Reports linking Joho to a web of drug traffickers in the country are not uncommon, the Mombasa Governor having been linked to a drug trafficking racket by late Interior Minister George Saitoti.

“I have been informed that Hon Joho and three other members are suspected to be involved in drug dealing,” Saitoti told a National Assembly plenary on December 22, 2010.

The Prime Minister Raila Odinga said he had “formally received documents” from the United States ambassador listing five members barred from visiting the country on allegations of corruption and drug dealing.

Joho challenged the report saying “I have never dealt in drugs and I don’t even know how those things look like.”

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