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Flamboyant Nairobi lawyer Ahmednassir Abdullahi has written to the Directorate of Criminal Investigations demanding that the CS for Agriculture and the PS in the ministry be investigated in connection with the contentious issue of fake fertilizers.

In the letter Ahmednassir Abdullahi claims that while himself and the Chief Operations Officer of KEL Chemical  (the company that was found to rebag fake fertilizers) were conducting officers from DCI on an inspection tour of Mr. Devesh Patel godown the CS for Agriculture repeatedly called. 

The call logs from Safaricom lends credibility to Ahmednassir’s assertion that on the 7th day of December at a  specified time Mr. Devji was repeatedly called from the number 0722XXX000 which happens to be a line associated with Mr. Mithika Linturi.

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Details have emerged how Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi tried to force an official who had implicated him and other officials in the fake fertilizer scam to issue a statement to admit the product was his. 

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Devesh Patel, the Chief Operations Officer of Kel Chemicals which was forced to supply fertilizer to National Cereals and Produce Board wrote to the DCI boss Mohamed Amin to expose what happened. 

Lawyers Dennis Mosota and Ahmedinasir Abdullahi are representing the company. 

“Further to the foregoing, we feel inclined to suggest that as you assess individual responsibility in the light of an overall evaluation of complicity, the conduct and involvement of Mr. Franklin Mithika Linturi, the Cabinet Secretary, Ministry of Agriculture and Livestock and Mr. Joseph Kimote, the Managing Director, National Cereals and Produce Board, should be scrutinized.”

“Our client informed us of the attempts by the two public officers to distort the correct account of what transpired, and to present a counter-narrative whose end was to incriminate our client through intimidation and threats and, to absolve other parties that had been adversely mentioned in the scandal. 

This occurred on the following dates highlighted below,” says the letter. 

“On 4th April 2024, Mr. Devesh Patel, the Chief Operations Officer of our Client received a call from Mr. Joseph Kimote at around 9:45 am… informing him of the need to prepare a letter to Mems following the press release issued by NCB recalling 3,000 bags of Fertilizer manufactured on 5th March 2024 and of Batch Number 03/2024.

Further, Ms. Lorraine Karani of NCPB at around 11:30 am asking him to report to NCPB Headquarters at 3:30pm.”

He later on received a call from Mr. Collins Ng’etich at around 11:00 am reiterating the same information received from Mr. Joseph Kimote and the importance of having the information of recall of bags of Fertilizer in writing and reporting to NCPB Headquarters with a hard copy of the letter.

“On 7th April 2024 while at our client’s plant in Thika for the seizure of the goods by DCI, Mr. Devesh received incessant calls of more than 30 calls within an hour from some of the above-mentioned persons (Mr. Kimote and and Mr. Ng’etich) and also from Mr. John Matiri, the General Manager of NCB emphasizing and insisting on the need and importance of him to attend a Press Release at Jacaranda Hotel.”

Mr. Kimote shared with him copies of the Statement he was required to read out at the Press release via Whatsapp and even shared an amended version.

“We note that the content of these Statements directed our client to assume responsibility for the 3,000 bags produced between 5th and 7th March 2024

not meeting the required quality parameters and asking the affected farmers to report to NCB Depots for compensation.”

He declined to appear at Jacaranda hotel as he was at our client’s plant in Thika with DCI Officers finishing up on the seizure of the bags of Fertilizer.

The letter adds Linturi, the Cabinet Secretary of the Ministry of Agriculture & Livestock made calls to Mr. Devesh on 10th April at around 9.30 am directing him that our client is required to attend a press conference at Jacaranda hotel and confirmed the need for him to use the statement as shared with him by Mr. Kimote at the Press Conference. 

Mr. Devesh declined to appear at Jacaranda hotel which resulted in the hastily planned and convened inspection by the Cabinet Secretary on 12th April 2024 at our client’s plant in Thika and, his subsequent issuance of the orders closing the factory and declaring it a crime scene.

“You will appreciate the extent of the inability of the two public officers to properly understand and appreciate the true account of facts and exert themselves within the confines of the law. They put a strain on the law in a manner that furthered impunity through manifest lack, fairness, impartiality, and outright manipulation.

The lawyers annexed copies of the call logs generated from our client’s mobile phone in support of the foregoing information in the hope that they may be critical to your ongoing investigations.

Appearing before the National Assembly’s Agriculture Committee, Kel Chemicals Chief Operating Officer (COO) Devesh Patel dragged the names of senior government officials attached to the Office of the President, Kenya Bureau of Standards (KEBS) and the National Cereals and Produce Board (NCPB) into the scandal. 

Patel told the Committee of a high-stakes meeting he allegedly attended with the senior public servants, moments before his unprecedented arrest, alleging that he was arrested and detained at a police station after the meeting ended prematurely.

“While giving my statement, Ms. Esther Ngari kept interrupting me saying that I am making substandard fertiliser. She said she’d close our factories and told Mr. Felix Koskei to punish us,” he said. 

“Thereafter, Koskei did not finish listening to me and instead asked some police to arrest me together with Collins Ng’etich and take me to the DCI headquarters in Kiambu. I was arrested without being informed of the reasons for my arrest, no representation from counsel and I wrote my statement while under duress. I was later released on a 100,000 police bond”. 

Patel further alleged that he was coerced into writing a letter admitting that they had produced and distributed fake fertilizer while in police detention. 

“I was forced to write a letter indicating that I had recalled the batches of fertilizer,” he said. 

The damning allegations from Patel come barely a week after Kel Chemical’s factory was inspected and later closed by Agriculture CS Mithika Linturi over alleged involvement in the fake fertilizer scandal.

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