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Governor aides now applying blackmail, says EACC detective

By Kamau Muthoni | Dec 10th 2019 | 3 min read
Majority Leader Abdi Hassan Guyo in the company of other MCAs addresses a press conference at DCI offices. [Samson Wire, Standard]

Ethics and Anti-Corruption Commission (EACC) Director of Investigations Abdi Ahmed Mohamud yesterday told the court Nairobi Governor Mike Sonko Mbuvi aides doctored a CCTV footage to blackmail him.

The reply by the anti-corruption watchdog's lead investigator, filed before Justice John Onyiego, counters Sonko’s allegations that current investigations are skewed to kick him out of the office and that EACC officers have vested interests.

According to Ahmed, the governor’s aides got the footage from Heron Portico Hotel, which he frequents for lunch, swimming and gym, then doctored the clip to insinuate that he (Ahmed) was receiving a bribe from former Nairobi County Assembly Majority Leader Abdi Guyo.

“The said CCTV footage has evidently and deliberately been altered to create unwarranted speculation and innuendo to blackmail, intimidate and or stop the ongoing investigations. I can confirm under oath that no amount of blackmail and intimidation shall cause me to unduly stop, delay or compromise me from carrying out my lawful duties,” said Ahmed.

In the court papers exclusively obtained by The Standard, Ahmed attached a statement written by Heron Hotel manager Phillip Anyona, on September 30, 2019, detailing what happened.

According to Anyona, his boss Neeraj Khumar called him inquiring of how some of the hotel CCTV footage was leaked to an outsider. Khumar said their client, named as Abdi Mohammed, had complained that the footage was malicious.

Khumar told Anyona the client wanted to know the origin of the footage and who had released the same. The two agreed that Anyona should proceed to EACC, since the director of investigations was also a victim of the footage.

“While at the EACC offices at Integrity Centre, Nairobi, I and Mr Abdi Mohamed and Director of Investigations at EACC met and I explained to them the circumstances of the footage and agreed to make a statement regarding the same,” Anyona said.

Anyona explained that on September 20, 2019, Nyalle Munga called him through WhatsApp requesting if Nairobi governor could be allowed to watch a CCTV footage. “I told him there was no problem,” said Anyona.

According to the hotel manager, Sonko called him two days later on WhatsApp, using a United Arab Emirates number requesting if he could send Nairobi County Chief of Staff named Mr Mugo to come and view the CCTV.

“Mr Sonko informed me through the WhatsApp call that he had information that a lot of money was distributed in our hotel to impeach him and thus wanted to view some CCTV footage. Mr Mugo was known to me and I accepted that he sends him over to view the clips,” explained Anyona.

Sonko, the court document reads, sent Mugo on September 23, 2019, at around 11.20am but with another unknown person. The three men proceeded to the security office and proceeded to view the CCTV footage.  Mugo and the unknown man viewed the CCTV clip whilst standing. The two had mobile phones with them.

“I wish to state that I showed the CCTV clips to Mr Mugo and the other person whom I do not know out of the trust for the Governor Mr Sonko and I wanted to dispute allegations that there was money being distributed at Heron Hotel to destabilise Nairobi County,” said Anyona.

Sonko wants the court to order Ahmed to step aside to pave the way for investigations for alleged corruption and economic crimes.

He accuses the EACC director of engaging in a witch hunt and being at the centre of his current downfall.

According to Sonko, the investigations by EACC are driven by personal vendetta that allegedly stem from Ahmed’s involvement in several investigations.

 The investigator, however, replied that Sonko’s intent was to just malign his name and reputation out of fabricated allegations.

 “There is no doubt whatsoever that the petitioner intentionally and maliciously joined me as a respondent so as to taint my credibility, reputation and professional standing in a bid to erode public confidence in my ability to discharge my functions,” said Ahmed.

The case will be heard on December 19.

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