Kenya: Slain Somali-American Trader Bashir Mohamed's Kin Fight Over Bank Cash

29 November 2021

The widow of Somali-American businessman Bashir Mohamed Mohamud -- who was found dead in Mwea, Kirinyaga County after going missing -- is now crying foul over what she claims is a plot to disinherit her.

Following Ms Suadha Rashid Ali's complaint, a Kadhi's Court in Nairobi has frozen all bank accounts associated with a brother of her late husband.

Ms Ali had asked the court to freeze all the accounts associated with her brother-in-law, Mr Abdifatah Mohamed, after she realised that money was being transferred illegally from her late husband's bank accounts.

Through her lawyer Hussein Kusow of Kusow and Company Advocates, the widow has accused her brother-in-law of plotting to disinherit her.

On November 23, Mr Sukyan Hassan Omar, the Deputy Chief Kadhi, issued orders freezing at least three bank accounts at Dubai Islamic Bank held by Buildlink Development Limited, a company associated with Mr Mohamed.

Another account held at the First Community Bank by the same company was also frozen.

Killed

Mr Mohamud was reportedly killed on May 16, 2021 and, according to the widow, he had shares in several companies including Infinity Development Limited, Global Infinity Trading FZE Limited and Hava Net Limited.

On November 10, Ms Ali had been allowed by the same court to be a mandatory co-signatory to the bank accounts of the three companies.

She had applied for statements of the bank accounts held by her late husband and the three banks, Dubai Islamic Bank, Kenya, First Community Bank and Gulf African Bank provided the same in September.

She said it was through the bank statements that she realised all monies in her late husband's accounts had been transferred.

She accuses Mr Mohamed and his wife, Nima Gullet Mohad, of illegally transferring the money.

The funds were transferred on November 18, a day after Ms Ali served the respondents with the court order making her a co-signatory to the three bank accounts.

"We were issued with the order on November 15 but we managed to extract it a day later and served the banks and other respondents the same day. The banks sent their representatives to verify the order and it took a whole day. I was added as a signatory on November 19 but the funds were transferred on November 18 to Buildlink Development Limited," she said.

Sh28m transferred

According to court papers, a total of Sh28 million was transferred to an account held by Buildlink Development Limited, a company run by Mr Mohamed.

"Buildlink Development Limited is being used as a conduit and a safe haven to hold the monies transferred from Infinity Development Limited, Global Infinity Trading FZE Limited and Hava Net Limited so as to divert the estate of its share," Mr Husow, the widow's lawyer, states in his affidavit.

He argues that Mr Mohamud was the face of the three companies and all income and payments coming into accounts were for projects initiated during his lifetime.

It is reported that by the time Mr Mohamud died, Global Infinity Trading FZE Limited account at Dubai Islamic Bank, Kenya had a balance of Sh80 million but currently only has Sh3 million.

According to Ms Ali's lawyer, the massive plunder of the companies' resources is a blatant attempt aimed at removing the monies from the realm of inheritance and disinheriting the beneficiaries.

Opposed freeze order

But through Kakai Mugalo and Company Advocates, Mr Mohamed has applied to have the order freezing the accounts set aside on grounds that the Kadhi's Court has no jurisdiction to issue such orders.

He argues that Buildlink Development Limited has not submitted itself before the Kadhi's court as it does not subscribe to the Muslim law relating to either personal status, marriage, divorce or inheritance as anticipated under Article 175 (5) of the Constitution.

He says the action of the ex parte order issued by the Kadhi's Court on November 23 has affected and in essence led to the collapse of the daily operations at Buildlink Development Limited.

But Mr Kusow responded stating that on the issue of jurisdiction, Mr Mohamud was a majority shareholder in the companies and in granting the orders it was sitting as a succession/probate court to protect the shares he owned since they now form part of the estate.

"The protection was needed since with the misappropriation by the brother, nothing could have remained for inheritance by the heirs," he said.

Mr Kusow added, "The law allows granting of temporary orders to protect the estate of a deceased from waste and/or dissipation which was being done by the brother."

Mr Mohamud was an American investor of Somali origin who was reported missing on May 13 only for his body to be found dumped in Kerugoya Hospital mortuary on May 22.

A post-mortem conducted by chief government pathologist indicated that he was strangled to death and that his body showed signs of torture which included blunt head trauma and burn marks.

The shell of his burnt car was also recovered in Kibiku Forest in Ngong. But before the police could pick up the shell, it mysteriously disappeared.

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