Five Nigerians detained in Nairobi over abduction claims
Five Nigerian accused of kidapping a compatriot over a Sh42million business deal gone sour will cool their heels in custody for three days to enable police complete investigations.
Ordering their detention at Kilimani Police Station in Nairobi, Milimani senior principal magistrate Bernard Ochoi said police require time to finalize their probe into the matter whose inquiries will spill to Lagos, Nigeria.
The detained are Henry Odugba Ochuko, Edosa Jordan Idehen, Ogbeifun Dennis and Ojeaga Edoh.
Two Kenyan women namely Halima Venesa Rajab and Julieta Mukima Gakuu who were arrested alongside the five foreigners on June 3,2023 from their Kilimani residence were however released on a cash bail of Sh100,000 with orders they appear before court on June 8, 2023 for further directions.
The five foreigners are accused of kidnapping Ehiarekhian Duke Ekoh, a fellow Nigerian, whom they accused of failing to pay Ochuko USD 350,000 (KSh42.5milioni) for a business transaction.
Urging Ochoi to exercise his discretion in favour of the suspects, a defence lawyer Peter Omingo disclosed, ‘the complainant (edoh) failed to deliver goods in a business transaction he had undertaken with Ochuko in Lagos, Nigeria.”
Omingo said the complainant knows very well that he did not ship some merchantile to Lagos as he had covenanted.
The lawyer availed a copy of the business transaction entered between Ochuko and Edoh.
Omingo urged the court to be weary so that it will not be used by the prosecution to sanitize illegalities.
But state prosecutor James Gachoka opposed Omingo adducing evidence from the bar saying such testimony cannot be admitted.
Gachoka said the said business agreement presented to the court by Omingo is not dated and neither is it signed to give it a legal base and authenticity.
The prosecutor urged the court to allow police finalize their probe on the suspects before filing criminal charges against them.
“The suspects were arrested on June 3,2023, at Hardy and Kilimani, in Nairobi County on suspicion of having committed an offence of Abduction contrary to Section 359 of the Penal Code,” Gachoka told the magistrate while opposing their release on bond.
The magistrate further heard from a crime detective Corporal Gerald Kamwaro how Edoh was called by Ochuko to accompany him to his house in Kilimani area where he was beaten and injured.
“The accused was beaten and injured in the house of Ochuko with his (edohs) phone being used to video tape his beating and yelling,” Cpl Kamwaro testified.
He added that that videos of the complainant while he was being beaten and bleeding were sent to his relatives in Lagos Nigeria then asked to wire money into a bank account he (Ochuko) gave them (relatives) for offsetting the alleged debt of USD350,000.
The detective said they are liasing with Interpol in Lagos, Nigeria to inquire into the accounts status of the alleged bank account of Ochuko to establish the transactions.
In his ruling, Ochoi said bail is a constitutional right under Article 49 for all suspects arrested and arraigned in court but added the same may be curtailed once compelling reasons are advanced.
He said police need time to conclude their inquiry into the matter.
He ordered the suspects to remain in custody until June 8, 2023, when further directions will be given.