Activist in trouble over claim that Mombasa used county funds for Raila’s birthday

Mr Abdulmajid Ali Al Busayyid alias Dr Amkenie at the Mombasa Law Court. He is facing several criminal charges relating to publication of false information on his social media pages.   

Photo credit: Brian Ocharo

A controversial London-based political activist is in trouble for claiming the Mombasa County Government used funds meant for the disabled to host a birthday party for opposition leader Raila Odinga. 

Mr Abdulmajid Ali Al Busayyid alias Dr Amkeni is now facing several criminal charges relating to publication of false information on his social media pages.   

He is accused of publishing on his YouTube account that Mombasa Governor Abdulswamad Sharif Nassir misused funds meant for the disabled to host Mr Odinga’s birthday party.

Mr Ali is also accused of publishing false information that former Governor Hassan Joho’s elder brother, Abubakar Joho, engaged in drug trafficking business and grabbed 60 acres of land at Hussein Dairy, an act he knew was likely to discredit the businessman. 

The activist is also charged with falsely claiming that the elder Joho imported a consignment of weapons from Pakistan and Afghanistan through the Mombasa port and later sold them to the al-Shabaab militia group in Somalia. 

Mr Ali was additionally accused of falsely claiming that Mombasa Speaker Aharubi Ebrahim Khatri was arrested in his house for being in possession illegal firearms and drugs.

The suspect is further accused of falsely claiming in his Youtube channel between March 9, 2021 and January this year, that Mr Khatri is involved in drug trafficking and stolen vehicle syndicate in the United Kingdom and bringing them to East Africa. 

He, however, denied the charges when he appeared before Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Rita Orora. 

“It is not true, the claims were made by the police,” the accused said when asked whether the charges were true or false. 

In an affidavit to oppose the bond, Investigating Officer Abdulahi Hussein said police are yet to determine the true identity of the suspect, who has two passports bearing different names. 

The officer said the suspect’s Kenyan passport identifies him as Abdulmajid Ali Al Busayyid while the British passport shows he is Qassim Issak Luqman.

Both passports were produced in court. 

“There is a need to ascertain the true identity, nationality, occupation and or details of the accused, and in particular, the circumstances leading to his possession of two different identities. This will require a multi-agency team cooperation that would include the British embassy,” Mr Hussein told the court. 

The officer added there is need to establish the origin of the alleged weapons or arms, how they entered through the Mombasa port, the operative involved and their final destination. 

“There is a need to carry out a forensic analysis of the suspect’s mobile phones and other electronic gadgets in his possession through the DCI Cybercrime department at DCI headquarters in Nairobi,” he said. 

The investigator told the court that following the suspect’s wild allegations on social media, human rights group Haki Africa wrote to the Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions, calling for investigations into what it termed allegations of various criminal activities committed by Mombasa leaders. 

Mr Hussein said the substance of the allegations was drawn from various YouTube clips that the accused uploaded on his social media pages.

“Preliminary investigations revealed that the accused was in possession of information that may lead us to unravel the truth behind a dangerous arms trafficking syndicate,” the officer said. 

He added efforts to record statements from the accused have been futile because of his hostility and failure to cooperate with the investigating team despite being summoned. 

While supporting the application for denial of bond, state counsel Valarie Ongeti said the suspect is a flight risk due to the two identification documents in his possession. 

“The existence of two passports with different names makes the suspect a flight risk,” she said. 

Through his advocates, Mr Ali asked the court to grant him bail even as the police continue with their investigations. 

“I am a sick man, continuing detention is not tasteful. Police cells are not a five-star hotel, detaining me inside those cells amounts to a death sentence,” he said, adding that he was not a flight risk since he has a fixed abode. 

The suspect explained that UK laws allow anyone to change his or her name as many times as possible. 

The suspect said the prosecution had not adduced compelling reasons for him to be denied bond. 

The court will rule on February 6.