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25 Somali nationals in court over forged passports

NAIROBI
By FRED MAKANA | October 9th 2013

By FRED MAKANA

Twenty five Somali nationals were on Wednesday arraigned in court to answer charges of using passports with forged endorsements and being unlawfully in the country. The accused appeared before Nairobi Acting Senior Principal Magistrate Peter Ndwiga and were charged that on Monday at Jomo Kenyatta International Airport being Somali nationals they presented passports with forged permit endorsements contrary to Section 54(1) (c) of the Citizenship and Immigration Act, 2011.

In another count the accused were also alleged to knowingly possessing and using Somali passports with forged immigration security stamp endorsements on their passports. They are also facing charges of being unlawfully in Kenya. Court heard that the accused being Somali nationals were found to be unlawfully present in Kenya yet they did not have valid passes allowing them to stay in the country.

In his submissions one of the lawyers for the accused Mr Hassan Lakicha argued that his clients were victims of circumstance as they were misled by agents who took their passports for endorsements. “My clients were on pilgrimage to Mecca for prayers and they saw it prudent to trust agents to have their passports endorsed little did they know they were being duped,” he argued

All the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and were granted by the magistrate cash bail of Sh 100,000 or bond of sh200, 000 and a Kenyan surety of similar amount. Hearing of the cases will be held between November 21 and 28.

In yet another related incident a Ugandan national Anita Mbabazi appeared before the same court accused of forging a Kenyan passport. Prosecutor Senior Superintendent of Police Brigid Kanyai told the court that Ms Mbabazi on unknown dates with intent to deceive and without lawful authority forged a Kenyan passport number A1993161 in the names of Isack Nuur Jeele purporting it to be a genuine passport made and issued by the Immigration Department.

The accused who was arrested on Tuesday was further accused that while in the country on some unknown dates with intention to deceive and without lawful authority or excuse she forged a Somali passport number P00318892 in the names of Faiza Aden Mohammed purporting it to be a genuine document made and issued by Somali government.

However, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and Magistrate Ndwiga ordered her to surrender identification documents for verification by the police. She was granted cash bail of sh100, 000 or bond of sh500, 000 and Kenyan surety of similar amount. Hearing of the case is set for November 20.

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