Court orders arrest of activist charged with defaming Joho's family

Abubakar Joho, brother to former Mombasa governor Hassan Joho, and county assembly Speaker Aharubi Khatri before a Mombasa court following a case they filed accusing political activist, Abdul Majid Ali Al Busayyid, of defamation. [Joakim Bwana, Standard]

A warrant of arrest has been issued against a political activist accused of defaming the family of former Mombasa governor Hassan Joho by linking it to corruption.

On Tuesday, Mombasa Senior Resident Magistrate Rita Orora ordered the arrest of Abdul Majid Ali Al Busayyid, who has been charged with defaming several local leaders, after he failed to appear in court for the hearing of the case.

The activist, also known as Dr Amkeni, has also been accused of defaming Governor Abdulswamad Nassir and county assembly Speaker Aharubi Khatri, through allegations of corruption.

Prosecution lawyer Victor Simbi applied for cancellation of the accused person's bond and issuance of an arrest warrant and summoning the surety.

Al Busayyid's lawyer Siyam Seif told the court he had lost contact with his client.

The London-based activist had pleaded not guilty to the charges. He allegedly committed the offence on diverse dates between March 9, 2021, and January 20, 2023, at an unknown place.

Orora further issued a sermon to a surety, who undertook to avail him throughout the trial.

On Monday, Seif told the court his client was admitted at Kenyatta National Hospital and Nairobi and sought an adjournment of the two-day hearing of the case.

However, Joho family's lawyer Paul Buti vehemently opposed the application arguing that the court should not allow the application without proper proof of medical report from the hospital.

“Such information can only be verified with a treatment note from the doctors at the hospital where the accused is allegedly being admitted,” said Buti.

Simbi also submitted that without such a report, the court should assume the suspect has deliberately absconded from the trial.

The case was adjourned to next Tuesday to allow the accused’s lawyer to avail proof of treatment to prove her client was admitted to the hospital.