By Lazarus Maitha.
The State on Tuesday evening suffered a blow in its renewed fight against drug trafficking at the Coast region after a Mombasa court ordered Bofu ward Member of County Assembly (MCA) Ahmed Salama Omar not to be detained to enable police complete investigations in relation to drug trafficking allegations leveled against him.
Mombasa principal magistrate Edgar Kagoni, in his ruling, said that he had heard the application by Acting Likoni DCIO, Charles Onyango, seeking to detain the respondent for three days at Port Police Station.
Kagoni informed the court that though, the Investigating officer (I.O) on his sworn affidavit had told the court that he was investigating claims of drug trafficking, there is no drugs which had been recovered from the respondent’s two houses during the search conducted by police.
He further told the court that the, the I.O in his sworn affidavit had not recorded any statements from any witnesses, and therefore the possibility of interfering with witnesses was impossible since there is no State witness who had recorded a statement with the police.
“I find no merit in the application to detain the suspect for three days, since the suspect’s two houses and vehicles had been searched. I do not think there is any other place the police would want to search. I, therefore, order he be released unconditionally and further direct him to fully cooperate with police whenever he is required,” said Kagoni.
The State, in its application, had sought to detain the suspect for three days after the investigation officer informed the court, that initial investigations had revealed that the respondent has been involved in trafficking narcotics within the coast region.
“The respondent was arrested following intelligence information received from a multi-agency investigation, and there are other of his accomplices who are still at large, and we believe they are his close associates, “said Onyango.
The court further heard from the investigating officer that police were apprehensive that, the suspect might interfere with ongoing investigations and witnesses who were yet to record statements.
Salama was arrested in Likoni following the operation targeting politicians and businessmen suspected to be behind the narcotics trade in the Coast region.
His arrest comes two days after Interior Cabinet Secretary Fred Matiang’i held a meeting with politicians and security team from the region.
Sixty three suspects have thus far been arrested and arraigned.