The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) Noordin Haji has dropped criminal charges against seven persons accused of mimicking the voice of former President Uhuru Kenyatta to con Sameer Group Chairman Naushad Merali Ksh10 million.

When the case came up for mention on Friday, May 6, 2023, Haji, through State Counsel Anderson Gikunda told Milimani Chief Magistrate Lucas Onyina that the prosecution wished to withdraw the case against Duncan Muchai, Isaac Wajekeche, William Simiyu, David Luganya, Gilbert Kirunja, Anthony Wafula and the flamboyant businessman Joseph Waswa for lack of witnesses after the complainant, Sameer Africa chairman Naushad Merali, passed on in July 2021.

The prosecutor informed the court that following the death of the complainant, the investigating officer in the matter is unable to find witnesses to testify in the case since efforts to even trace Sameer Africa Finance chief Akif Hamid who was also a key witness in the case have also been fruitless.

“We urge the court to kindly allow the case to be withdrawn under Section 87 of the Criminal Procedure Code (CPC) as the current investigating officer is unable to trace the witnesses in the case following the death of the complainant,” Gikunda told the court.

Gikunda asked the magistrate to allow the DPP to withdraw the case and assured that if the witnesses are traced by the DCI, the accused persons will be re-arrested and face a full trial.

Consequently, the magistrate allowed the DPP’s request to discharge the seven accused persons.

“I have considered the application by the state for withdrawal of the seven accused persons under section 87A of CPC, and I hereby discharge them,” Onyina said.

The magistrate also ordered a refund of their Ksh200,000 cash bail.

The seven men had been accused of impersonating former President Uhuru Kenyatta and called the late Sameer Group boss demanding that he gives Ksh10 million facilitation fees so that ‘State House’ could assist in the purchase of a piece of land at Nairobi’s Milimani area.

After the telephone call, Merali, who was not in the country immediately directed Sameer Africa Finance Director Akif Hamid Butt to process the money, not knowing that the caller was duping him.

It is said Butt got in touch with the callers who provided an Equity Bank account number where the money was deposited.

They allegedly committed the offence between January 24 and February 1, 2019.

It is alleged that the mobile number used to call the complainant was registered as Uhuru Kenyatta Kenya (Uhuru Kenyatta President).

“The complainant was contacted by fraudsters using several telephone numbers purportedly from President Uhuru Kenyatta. The complainant realized he had been dealing with fraudsters after he had lost his Ksh10 million,” investigating officer James Mwangi had told the court.

Sameer Africa would later write a letter to the State House seeking an audience with Uhuru on the land deal.

After receiving the letter, State House officials contacted Sameer officials and inquired about the deal between them and the ‘fake President Kenyatta’.

The matter was reported to the police upon which officers from the DCI headquarters opened investigations.

The suspects were arrested on February 22, 2020, after the scheme went wrong and information reached the President and other State House officials.


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