Ex-assistant minister’s son, activist held over extortion

Wednesday, June 7th, 2023 06:20 | By
Ex-assistant minister’s son, activist held over extortion
Musaari Kahiga Syongoh (left) and Alivin Nzomo Muthami when they appeared before senior principal magistrate Benard Ochoi, at Milimani law courts in Nairobi, yesterday. PHOTO/Charles Mathai

A Nairobi court yesterday allowed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) request to continue detaining a son of a former assistant minister and an activist for three days for allegedly threatening to kill a city businessman over undisclosed reasons.

The former Trade Assistant Minister Zaddock Syongoh son, Musaari Kahiga Syongoh and his activist friend Alivin Nzomo Muthami were detained at Parklands police station until Friday this week to enable the DCI complete investigations into allegations of threatening to kill and extortion. 

The DCI claims that in a bid to silence the businessman Chetan Babu alias CJ from being exposed over alleged criminal activities, the two suspects demanded Sh50 million.

In a brief ruling, Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi allowed the DCI’s plea to have the duo remain in custody for three days since they face serious allegations of threatening to kill the complainant.

The DCI boss through Corporal Nyangige Mathias had sought for more time to continue holding the suspects to complete investigations which he terms as complex.

It is said that among the other suspects the police are pursuing is a senior KRA official linked to the extortion allegations.

The court heard that the suspects extorted on diverse dates between January 1 and May 10, 2023 where the complainant Chetan has been receiving threatening messages from an Airtel number unknown to him stating that if he does not comply with the demands, they would expose his alleged corruption deals.

“This led to the complainant giving out Sh50 million to the two suspects for fear of his life, “ Nyangige told the court.

He added that once the complainant parted with the cash, he immediately reported the matter at Parklands police station on May 11, 2023.

The officer urged the court not to release the accused on bail or bond as the suspects had threatened to eliminate the complainant as they shared all his information to other suspects who are being sought by police. “It was established that since the complainant reported the matter to the police, the suspects and others still at large had plans to eliminate Chetan to the extent of sharing his confidential documents namely passport through Whatsapp,” Nyangige stated. 

The officer also revealed that during the arrest at the weekend at their Karen residence, Kahiga caused chaos by resisting arrest before he was eventually subdued.

Upon arrest, Kahiga was escorted to Karen police station and on conducting a body search, the officers recovered five rolls of cannabis sativa (bhang) from his left trouser pocket.

The DPP through State Counsel James Gachoka supported the DCI’s application and urged the court to detain Kahiga and Muthami to enable police  complete investigations into the attempted extortion by threats allegations.

“I urge this court to detain the suspects at Parklands police station to enable police to conclude investigations into the matter,” said Prosecutor Gachoka.

He told the magistrate that the two suspects are flight risks and are being investigated for serious crimes.

“Owing to the gravity of the charges facing the suspects herein and the fact they pose a flight risk releasing them will interfere with the ongoing investigations. Allow police to detain them,” he said. 

Gachoka told the court that ongoing investigations involve recovery of apparatus used to commit the offence including the Sh50 million and the Airtel numbers which the suspects used to send the threatening messages.

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