The Banadir Regional Court sentenced 6 government officials in the highly anticipated trial of 11 individuals accused of corruption. After weeks of proceedings, the court ordered prison terms ranging from 6 months to 9 years. The dismissal of charges against the five remaining individuals indicates that the Attorney General’s actions were flawed and politically motivated.
Mogadishu, SOMALIA. By Dalmar:
The accused government officials worked for various government institutions, including the Immigration and Naturalization Directorate of Somalia (IND), the Land Tax Office of the Ministry of Finance, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and the Central Bank of Somalia.
Among those found guilty, Abdullahi Mohamed Osoble, the former Director of the Foreign Office at the IND, and Omar Moalim Ali, the former Deputy Director of the same office, both received one year in prison. Sabir Hassan Abdi Nur, the Head of the Visa Extension Department at the IND, received the harshest sentence: three years and six months in prison.
On a different note, the court acquitted Adan Mohamed Abdi, an officer at the Visa Extension Department of IND, of all charges.
Aden Adde Airport branches
Moreover, Abukar Mohamed Ali, Director of Land Taxes at the Aden Adde Airport office of the Ministry of Finance, received eight years in prison and can no longer hold any government position. Meanwhile, the court acquitted Abdiqadir Abdi Sodal Abtidoon, a cashier at the Foreign Revenue Department of the Central Bank at the Aden Adde Airport branch, of all charges.
The court also sentenced Mohamed Adan Abdullahi, Branch Manager at the Aden Adde Airport office of the Central Bank, to eight months in prison.
Ministry of Labour
Two government officials, Abdirahman Abdikarin Ibrahim and Abdiwahid Muhsin Ibrahim, were absent. Abdirahman Abdikarin Ibrahim, Head of the Foreigners’ Licensing Division of the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, received nine years in prison and can no longer hold public office. Conversely, the court acquitted Abdiwahid Muhsin Ibrahim, an employee at the same department, of all charges.
However, controversy surrounds the case, with some of the absent civil servants who have left the country claiming political motivation and questioning the fairness of the judgment. Moreover, the dismissal of charges against the five officials indicates that the Attorney General’s actions were flawed and politically motivated.
Abdullahi Aden Kulane, a Member of the Federal Parliament of Somalia, voiced his anger over the proceeding. “It is now clear that the purported crackdown on corruption was meant to divert attention from widespread corruption involving cronies within this administration and distract the public from failures on multiple fronts, while also going after individuals for political purposes. To the innocent Somalis, who the courts found innocent and have been subjected to unfair treatment and suffered harm to their reputations, need to be granted a state apology, compensation, and their positions within the Government should be reinstated.”
Moreover, Mr Kulane called upon the court to block future attempts to use the judiciary as a political tool and to scrutinise cases before accepting them to “ensure that they only consider those with genuine merits.”