A businessman who has been handling the Sh21 billion 100,000-acre agricultural project in Galana for the prince of Saudi is now facing terror charges after being accused of recruiting Kenyan youth for ISIL.
Hassan Babakar Osman, Prince Sultan Bin Nasser Bin Abdulaziz Al Saud’s local agent, is being held at Muthaiga police station on the orders of Milimani magistrate Helen Onkwani as officers investigate.
Although he has not been formally charged in court, police got orders to hold him for 14 days while they investigate allegations of his links to terror groups, days before a criminal case against his business partners was scheduled to be heard.
Abubakar’s lawyer Cliff Ombeta yesterday said his client is being held on frivolous charges instigated by people who want to take over his business interests.
He said there is a plot to deport his client to Sudan instead of either Somalia or the country from which he last entered Kenya, as is the norm.
“This is a businessman with licences in petroleum, agriculture and transport. He was thoroughly vetted by the Kenyan government before being issued with the licences. How could the government have cleared him if he was a recruiter? The police don’t seem sure about what to charge him with. While on the other hand they claim he is an ISIL recruiter, they claim he forged a letter of attorney from the Saudi Prince yet the Prince has not complained,” Ombeta said.
The lawyer said that senior Immigration officer Abraham Mwaura has confirmed that the Somalia passport being held by Abubakar is genuine and verified by the Somalia government.
Ombeta said he has received deaths threats from people who have warned him to keep off the case.
He said two women, one of them claiming to be a police woman from Garissa, have also attempted to dissuade him from representing the businessman.
Under the arrangement, the Saudi Prince in 2010 leased 100,000 acres from the Agriculture Development Corporation on the Galana Ranch, in Kilifi county, for 16 years under a renewable contract. Work had began on the project before court cases were filed.
Abubakar has twice been arrested at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport in July and at the Malindi courts in March after unknown individuals told police that he was travelling on a fake Somalia passport. But on both occasions, the Immigration office has confirmed from the Somalia government that the document is genuine.
By DOMINIC WABALA
Source – TheStar