A Nairobi court has allowed Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) Amin Mohamed's 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.
The former trade assistant minister Zaddock Syongoh's son, Musaari Khiga Syongoh and his activist friend 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 in a bid to silence businessman Chetan Babu alias CJ from being exposed over alleged criminal activities, the two suspects sought Ksh50 million.
In a ruling, Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Bernard Ochoi allowed the DCI plea to have the duo remain in custody for only three days since they face serious allegations of threatening to kill the complainant.
The DCI boss through Corporal Nyangige Mathias had sought more time to continue holding the suspects to complete investigations which he terms as complex.
The court heard that the suspects committed the offence of extortion by threats 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 doesn't comply with the demands they would expose him of his alleged corruption deals.
"This led to the complainant giving out Ksh50 million to the two suspects for fear of his life," Officer 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.
Further, the officer urged the court not to release the accused on bail or bond as the suspects had threatened to eliminate the complainant and shared all his information with other suspects who are being sought by police.
"It was established 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 his passport through WhatsApp," Ngangige stated.
The officer also revealed that during the arrest over the weekend at their Karen residence, Kahiga caused chaos by resisting arrest but arresting officers eventually managed to apprehend him.
Upon arrest, Kahiga was escorted to Karen police station and a body search was conducted. It is alleged that during the search, police recovered five rolls of cannabis sativa from his left trouser pocket.
The recovered items have since been taken to government chemist for analysis.
The Directorate Public Prosecutions (DPP) through state Counsel James Gachoka supported the application by DCI and urged the court to detain the Kahiga and Muthami to enable police complete investigations into the attempted extortion allegations.
"I urge this court to detain the at Parklands police station to enable police to conclude investigations into the matter," Gachoka said.
Gachoka told the magistrate that the two suspects are flight risk as they were 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 the recovery of apparatus used to commit the offence including the Ksh50 million and the Airtel numbers which the suspects used to send the threatening messages.
The court heard other key suspects are on the run and the police are pursuing them.
Defence lawyer Moses Chelang'at vehemently opposed the detention saying that the "actual flight risk is Chetan, not them".
Chelang'at informed the court that he accompanied the police to the home of Syongoh where he witnessed the police recover the alleged cell phones and a laptop which were examined by the DCI Cybercrime Unit.
"The two suspects are not a flight risk. The complainant is the one who will disappear in thin air once the information that he (Chetan) is engaged in questionable business deals," Chelang'at said.
He added that the father of Kahiga is a well known senior civil servant who served as the former MP Suba, former Trade assistant minister and respected ambassador and will undertake to produce his son to police whenever required.
The court was urged to release the two reasonable bond terms and to report to the investigation officer for interrogation and recording of statements.
"It only takes seven minutes for cybercrime experts to download information from cellphones and computers for examination and detection of criminal activities. Police do not need more days to detain them," Chelang'at told the court.