The driver of a motor vehicle which was intercepted at a roadblock along the Muranga – Nairobi road while ferrying suspected Ethiopian immigrants has been released on one million shillings bond by a Kiambu Court.
Abdi Mohammed Abubakar had been arraigned before a Kiambu law court last week for trafficking contrary to section 3(1) (a) as read with section 3(5) of the counter trafficking in persons ACT NO.8 of 2020.
He appeared before Kiambu Chief Magistrate Ms. Stella Atambo and pleaded not guilty to the offense. The court however deferred his bond application to allow police to interrogate some of the foreigners with a view of enlisting some of them to be prosecution witnesses so as to fast track the case.
At their initial appearance in court, the accused was identified as the truck driver by one of the victims who also identified the black Salon Car on which some were aboard.
The witness who was one of the 21 victims continued to explain the dreadful experience of how he found himself in court in a foreign country.
He said that he is 17 years old and is a standard 6 student back in his country, and goes to the catholic church. He came to Kenya as he was promised a job by his cousin who communicated to him through phone and lived in South Africa.
The cousin then told him to proceed to Moyale, where he met with a man he couldnt identify, they then crossed the border on foot and walked in the forest for 3 days and 3 nights without food.
At that time they were 7 boys. It was later that a car came and they were arrested on the way. At the time of arrest he did not have any identification document, the court heard.
The second witness Chakibu Bakara corroborated the dreadful experience before the magistrate but for his case, he says they crossed the border by a car and after the forest, they used a bodaboda for a day while en-route for greener pastures.
The person he did not identify then got them in a vehicle and took the 7 of them to a house. Chikabu said they didn’t have the freedom to move out of the house which is big and had one room. He further added that they showered in the same room and were not allowed to leave.
It was then that they were rescued from the said house. The chief magistrate released the suspect Abubakar with a cash bail of 1 million or a surety of a similar amount. The case will be mentioned on 29th January and the hearing of the case will be on May 11th, 2021.
The Ethiopian nationals will be repatriated to their home soon after the whole documentation process is complete.
By Lydia Shiloya / Jane Kageche