Kwale court acquits 17 youths arrested for planning to join Al Shabaab

The 17 youths accused of planning to join Al Shabaab. They were acquitted by a Kwale court./Brivian Simiyu

Kwale, KENYA: 17 youths among them two women linked to terror group Al-shabaab were on Monday acquitted by a Kwale law court due to lack of sufficient evidence.

The 17 aged between 18 and 28 years were arrested by police on January 28, 2019 at Samburu area in Kinango sub-county.

The suspects were charged with two counts, one being suspected to be recruits of Al-shabaab militant group and the other charge being found in possession of counterfeit products.

The Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) had last week requested the court to have the suspects held in custody for a week to allow conclusion of investigations.

Also read: 12 terror suspects including a New Zealander arrested in Dadaab

The 17 pleaded not guilty before Kwale chief magistrate Dominica Nyambu who ruled that extensive inquiries had satisfied the investigation and there was no concrete reason to charge the suspects with terrorism act.

“The Director of Public Prosecution has found no charges against the suspects and they are all discharged and file closed,” ruled Magistrate Nyambu.

The suspects released were Nuru Sofia Alamini, Wilfred Mandisa Ngenge, Gerald Irungu Nyambura, Joseph Momanyi Obonyo, Albert Kilunga Abagaressa, Joseph Mrabu Charo, Daniel Safari Kadenga, Michael Muye Mwang’ombe, Christiano Krisha Daido.

Others included Jackson Abio Dadoo, Christopher Najib Saro, Karisa Habel Randy, Kelvrin Ogongo Nyakundi, Robert Moreno Shaban, Isnino Fardia Hussein, Edwin Moroni and Collins Maina Mbogo.

Their lawyer Raphael Chimera hailed the ruling.

“The suspects are now free because the investigations revealed that they do not have any links with the terror group,” he said adding that there will be no further charges against them.