Two suspects in the kidnapping of a 23-year-old businesswoman have been freed on a bond of Sh1 million or two sureties of Sh500,000 each.
Hafsa Abdi Ahmed and Jackson Njogu Wanjiru were charged with five counts of assault, abduction, conspiring to commit a felony, disabling, and stealing from Hafsa Lukman.
They denied the charges and the state filed an application to deny them bond on grounds they did not have a fixed place of abode and were likely to abscond if released. In a ruling read by Makadara principal magistrate Merissa Opondo, chief magistrate Heston Nyagah said there was no compelling reason by the state to deny the two bonds.
He further warned the accused against contacting the complainant or any witnesses directly or indirectly.
Earlier on, the court heard that the duo with others not before court abducted Hafsa at Kayole Junction and confined her in a house in the Matopeni area in Kayole between June, 15 and June, 20
The two are accused of conspiring to abduct Hafsa and stealing from her bank accounts a total of Sh615,000 during the period.
On the third account, they are accused of choking, suffocating, strangling, and feeding her with sawdust, covering her mouth with a tape and tying her hands with manila rope, and blindfolding her to render her incapable of resistance.
The two were further charged with stealing Hafsa’s iPhone, jewelry, and cash from her M-Pesa account all totaling to Sh335,000.
They are also accused of assault.
Hafsa was lured into a lucrative watermelon business before she was abducted. She had been confined in a house not far from the police station.
She was forced into an empty water tank where she was tortured as the suspects demanded Sh5 million.
Abdi’s counsel Omari had objected detective’s application to have the accused detained and denied bond saying there were no compelling reasons to show they would abscond court.
“The fact that Abdi is of Somali tribe with Kenyan parents should not make her less of a citizen. She is entitled to enjoy the rights that a Kenyan citizen enjoys. “
“No tangible evidence showing that the accused persons are an imminent danger to the public. They retain the right to be presumed innocent until proven guilty. That cannot be assumed just because the case has received a lot of attention,” ruling read in part.
The court further directed the accused to be reporting to the investigating officer every fourth night at dates to be agreed on until further orders of the court. The case shall be mentioned for a pre-trial directing at a date to be set.