The detaining Garissa Islamic Sheikh Abdullahi Khalif after he was released to his family.
BY SAM ALFAN.
Government has denied detaining an Islamic cleric who disappeared in Garrissa Town following the Garrissa University Terror Attack.
Anti-Terrorism Police Unit senior officer Charles Ogeto told lady justice Grace Ngenye that Sheikh Abdullahi Khalif who went missing last month following the killings of 147 university students was not arrested by them as eerier alleged.
ATPU officer Charles Ogeto said Sheikh Abdullahi Khalif was neither booked nor detained in any of the police station at the Garissa County and a suit filed by his son Abdi Khalif Abdullahi against the police was bad in law.
But his lawyer Senior Counsel Gitobu Imanyara objected to ATPU officer Charles Ogeto statement and told the court he has the evidence to prove the Anti -Terrorist police unit had detained his client in custody despite their denial.
The abducted Garissa Sheikh Madhobe who was picked by three people armed with guns after they stormed the institution which he was giving out instructions.
He was released by Anti-Terrorist police unit on Tuesday morning after two weeks of his unknown whereabouts after he was picked and bundled in a Toyota Land Cruiser amid protests from his students among them his daughter.
His family’s lawyer Gitobu Imanyara confirmed his client was released this morning by Anti-Terrorist police unit and joined his family who received him with joy after several days of worrying for his whereabouts
“Sheikh Madhobe has been released to his family this morning by the Anti-Terrorist police in Nairobi where he was dropped at petrol station and his family was directed to pick him their” Confirmed Lawyer Imanyara.
The Sheiks son moved to court on May 4, 2015 to seeking his release. The Islamic teacher who has since been released is said to have been “arrested” by three people who identified themselves as security officers.
Yesterday Ogeto told the judge that the family should file documents in court to prove their claims. In the petition, the family wanted an explanation from the Government as to why the Islamic teacher was abducted.
Judge Ngenye certified the application as urgent and directed the petitioner to serve Inspector General of Police Joseph Boinett and the Director of Public Prosecutions Keriako Tobiko.
She further Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Keriako Tobiko to explain his whereabouts.” The DPP needs to explain to court the procedures that were followed during the alleged abduction” said Ngenye in her directive.
The family claimed that Sheikh was picked from Umul-Qura, an Islamic religious institution (Dugsi) in Garissa town.
Represented by lawyer Gitobu Imanyara, Abdi sued the Interior Cabinet Secretary, Director of Criminal Investigations, Tobiko and Boinett for allegedly failing to protect the people of Garrissa County.
“Interior Cabinet Secretary, Director of Criminal Investigations, Tobiko and Boinett have failed to protect the people of Garrissa County,” said Imanyara.
The family had expressed their fears in the petition that the cleric’s life might be in danger. They argued that many innocent Garrissa citizens have been abducted and their properties destroyed since the Garrissa University Attack.
“My father has been a religious leader since he was abducted on April 27, 2015 at Umul-QuraDugsi (Islamic Religious Institution),”says Abdi.
According to him, his father was giving religious instructions at the said Institution before he was abducted by three people who were dressed in civilian clothes but were armed.
The abductors allegedly refused to identify themselves other than stating that they were police officers.
The petitioner claims that his father was forcefully bundled into a Toyota Land Cruiser amid protestations by his students among who was his youngest sister who recounted this information to him.
He adds that the said officers demanded for his father’s mobile phone, his passport and his identity card.By that time, the petitioner says that his father’s passport was back at their home. He claims their efforts to get an explanation from the Government have been futile.
“My father has never been incriminated in any criminal activity and he has been a law abiding citizen,” he says.
Abdi adds that his father is married to four wives with has 19 children and that they are all worried that their father maybe undergoing torture wherever he is being held or he might be dead by now.
Mr Khalif, who has four wives and 19 children, was allegedly accosted by the officers in plain clothes while he was teaching at the institution at around 10am before he was forcibly put into a Land Cruiser car and driven away.
They first demanded for his national identity card before grabbing his mobile phone. He was arrested by force in the full glare of his students,” said the cleric’s son Abdi Khalif Abdullahi at their home in Bula Salaam.
Abdi said their father was the only breadwinner for the extended family and was taking care of his ailing 80-year-old mother Tamima Haji.
Senior Counsel Gitobu said that he already has enough evidence that it was the police who had abducted the Sheikh.
He was directed to file his affidavit in 5 days. The case will be heard on Wednesday next week for further direction.