Man's body exhumed three years later after dispute over cause of death

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The body of a man who died three years ago in Kapsabet, Nandi County, has been exhumed for further investigations following a dispute over the cause of his death.

Initial reports indicated that Fahiye Muhammud Ahmedin died by suicide, a claim that his mother, Zeinab Ahmed disputed.

Zeinab, who was out of the country at the time her son died, disputed a claim by Fahiye's wife Amina Yusuf that he died by suicide, saying there may have been foul play.

The magistrate's court in Kapsabet issued the exhumation order on September 14 following a case filed by Zeinab seeking to have a postmortem conducted to ascertain her son's cause of death.

Fahiye, who was found dead on September 12, 2020, in his house, according to the police, died by suicide, a finding that Zeiban has disputed.

It has been reported that Fahiye's body was not subjected to a postmortem to establish the cause of his death, according to Islamic doctrines.

Some family members buried Fahiye's body at a local Muslim cemetery while Zeinab was out of the country.

When Zeinab jetted back from Zambia later in 2020, she launched a case to pursue justice for his last-born son.

She said that all was not well between Fahiye and his wife, Amina Yusuf, and alleged that his death was stage-managed.

“My son (Fahiye) had called me on the phone and revealed that he had secretly done DNA and discovered that the three children they were raising were not his. His wife had been hiding this for years. I told him not to take any action or disclose the results to the wife until I returned home,” she said.

She said that due to the outbreak of the Covid-19 pandemic, she was not able to travel back to the country as planned.

Ms Zeinab said Fahiye would later reveal the DNA results to his wife which caused problems between them.

"Fahiye was no longer on good terms with his wife after he revealed the children's DNA results to her," she said, adding; “I'm not convinced my son died by suicide. I got photographs and other information from friends and relatives who have information on what transpired prior to my son's death.” 

For the past six months, after Zeinab petitioned the DCI to investigate the matter, homicide detectives from Nairobi have interrogated the late Fahiye's friends and close relatives in a bid to establish the circumstances that led to the death of the 30-year-old.

At the same time, the battle for the inheritance has taken centre stage between Zeinab and his daughter-in-law, as the paternity of the children is in question.

Fahiye, who is one of the sons of the late Kapsabet business tycoon Jama Dimbil Mahammud, inherited his vast estate estimated to be worth over Sh50 million. The properties include rental houses and business premises located at Sirungai estate.

The family is also fighting over whether the children, whom Zeinab alleges were sired out of wedlock, should get a slice of the estate.

"I was advised by the DCI that the only option was to exhume the body and an autopsy done afresh. It is an abominable act in the Muslim community, but I had to do it as I pursue justice for my son and, at the same time address the inheritance issues," Zeinab said.

Detectives also directed that DNA samples be obtained from Zeinab, Amina, and the three children to aid in the investigation process.

On Thursday, the DCI forensic detectives and Government Chemist toxicologists, led by consultant pathologist Dixon Mchana, endured heavy rains for seven hours as they exhumed the remains.

Dr Mchana confirmed that observations were made on the remains and samples obtained for further testing in Kisumu government laboratory.

“The autopsy basic information was taken including the blood samples, kidney, and brain. We might not establish if the deceased died by suicide but the manner of his death only, the final outcome, will guide further investigations done by the DCI,” he stated.

The outcome of the postmortem will help determine if Fahiye was murdered.

While speaking to the Standard, Amina said: "Justice will prevail. I trust the legal process. The truth will come out. Let us allow the investigation to be concluded and justice will be served, eventually."