By Adow Jubat
Tension was high as a former mayor and a businessman believed to be behind the demolition of the multi-million shilling business stalls in Garissa town were taken to court.
The suspects were arrested in Nairobi where they allegedly fled after the demolition.
The Garissa law court was packed with irate business people whose properties, estimated to be worth Sh12 million, were demolished over a land ownership row.
Sahal Nunow Bashir, a former Garissa mayor (1988-2002), and businessman Abdikarim Osman Ali were accused of being behind the illegal demolition of the 34 stalls on Thursday night.
The two who were represented by Penninah Samba pleaded not guilty to the three counts levelled against them.
They were accused of illegal demolition of business stalls belonging to Mohamud Suleiman, destroying property owned by the traders worth Sh12 million and the destruction of Garissa Primary School’s perimeter wall.
Prosecutor inspector Samuel Kirigithu asked the court to deny the accused bail on the basis that their free movement would create unnecessary tension that could lead to clan conflicts in the town.
Kirigithu added that the police were still conducting investigations into the matter hence requires the accused to be remanded so that they don’t interfere with police investigation and also for personal security.
He also argued that the two accused persons have not recorded their statement on the matter in court at Garissa Police Station as required by the law.
Senior Principal Magistrate Hannah Ndung’u gave the two eight days remand at the Garissa Prison.