ODM MPs slam DP Ruto allies for linking Joho to drugs, claim he is clean

Embakasi South Parliamentary aspirant Irshad Sumra(right) and Mombasa Governor Ali Hassan Joho pose with a certificate of clearance from IEBC to contest for Embakasi South by-election. [PHOTO:Beverlyne Musili,Standard]

Twelve ODM MPs have dismissed claims that Mombasa Governor Hassan Joho is involved in drug trafficking.

The MPs, led by Minority Whip Junet Mohamed, yesterday said Joho, who is their deputy party leader, did not engage in the illicit business as alleged by some leaders allied to Deputy President William Ruto.

Press briefing

Addressing the Press at Parliament Buildings yesterday, Junet termed the accusations by Nandi Governor Stephen Sang and MPs Oscar Sudi (Kapseret), Kimani Ichung’wa (Kikuyu) and Didmus Barasa (Kimilili) false and unfounded.

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“We are tired of having to continuously respond to these accusations. The old and tired accusations have been overtaken by events,” said the Suna East legislator, who was accompanied by his colleagues Mishi Mboko (Likoni), Gladys Wanga (Homa Bay) and Florence Mutua (Busia).

Orange team

Others present at the Press briefing were Caleb Amisi (Saboti), Babu Owino (Embakasi South), Sam Atandi (Alego Usonga), Mark Nyamita (Uriri), Ken Chonga (Kilifi South), Elisha Odhiambo (Gem), Omar Mwinyi (Changamwe) and Kwale Senator Issa Boy Juma.

Junet yesterday explained that Joho was not a wanted man, contrary to the utterances made by the politicians who are associates of Dr Ruto.

“Nationally and international, those who are involved in the drug trade have been taken to court and prosecuted to the full extent of the law. Governor Joho has demanded, through our courts, for those making these claims to substantiate them,” Junet said.

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On Tuesday, Joho made good his threat and sued the four politicians for defamation after they linked him to drug trafficking.

Through Ochieng’ K & Associates Advocates, Joho accused the four of deliberately, maliciously and callously employing falsehoods, gossip and slanderous language to maximise hatred against him.

Joho said the leaders had been spreading claims aimed at soiling his name for purposes of reducing his chances of winning in the 2022 General Election, in which he intends to vie for president.

Four defiant

But the four remained defiant, asking Joho to respond to their claims.

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As Joho went to court, Mr Sang’ held a Press conference in Nairobi and insisted on addressing the claims.

Sang accused Joho of using Ruto to divert attention from the issues they raised about his alleged involvement in drug trafficking. He said he was ready to present evidence linking Joho to illicit business.

“We have raised serious issues about Governor Joho, yet all he is doing is divert attention. He is desperate to save his skin. He has never addressed this issue and is trying to cover up by dragging in the DP’s name,” said Sang.

Present evidence

At the Press briefing, Sang, who is lawyer, said he was ready to go to court and prove the claims he made against Joho. He claimed he would present the evidence he had to authorities in two weeks.

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“We know that drug trafficking is an international criminal offence. We will take the evidence we have not only to the DCI but also to Interpol. We will present the information that we have in two weeks' time,” said the Nandi Governor.

ODM MPsMombasa GovernorHassan JohoPresident William RutoStephen SangBabu OwinoTanga TangaDrug trafficking