The sons of elderly city tycoon Yussuf Adan are locked in a bitter battle for the control of his vast business empire estimated to be worth over Sh10 billion.
The family feud, which began late last year pits the three sons of his first wife Khadija Mullah against the four sons of his second wife. He has 15 children.
Adan, who is in his 80s, owns the Yalah Towers in Nairobi’s CBD, Lenana Towers on Lenana Road and Riara Apartments near the Junction Mall.
He also has shares in Blue Bird Aviation, one of the largest airlines in the country after the national carrier, Kenya Airways.
For years he has battled in court with his partners — former Kenya Air Force officers Col (Rtd) Hussein Farah and Major (Rtd) Hussein Mohammed — for the control of the airline whose value is estimated to be more than Sh15 billion.
Mzee Adan, who hails from Mandera county, built his fortune beginning the 1960s by transporting miraa from Meru and delivering it to the Somali communities in Northeastern and Somalia.
Sources say the conflict between the sons began last November when one of the siblings discovered that Sh200 million might have been fiddled.
That discovery set off the bad blood between the brothers, which has since mutated into full-blown family conflict.
The siblings have allegedly traded accusations, threats and even alleged murder plots against each other.
On March 28, one of the sons, Abdinajibi Abdi, filed a report at the Nairobi Area police station alleging his three brothers Abdirahman Yussuf, Samatar Adan, and Abdirizak Yussuf had threatened him. The three are sons of the first wife, Khadija.
“The three individuals listed have been continuously threatening my life because of serious implicating information I came in possession of recently,” Abdinajibi said in his report.
He added: “On March 12, 2020, CCTV footage shows Abdirizak following me all the way to my office and telling me that he will be waiting for me whenever I leave. He then kept his promise and waited for me as he stood at the elevator. Fortunately, other civilians came and he told me, ‘My last days are near’.”
Abdinajibi said he reported this incident at the Central police station but claims no action was taken.
He further claimed that his stepbrother Abdirahman has a firearm and has threatened him with it, which “gives me the impression that he will use it on me.”
However, on April 2, Abdirahman also made a report at the same Nairobi Area police station alleging that it is his brothers who wanted to harm him.
On April 8, lawyer James Singh, on behalf of Abdinajibi and his brother Abdiaziz, complained to Inspector General of Police Hillary Mutyambai about the laxity and alleged partisanship by the officer investigating the case.
“Our clients are the sons of Yussuf Abdi Adan, a wealthy Somali businessman married to two wives,” said the lawyer’s letter.
“A dispute has arisen between the children of the two families. The dispute primarily centres on the assets and properties owned by Adan, with allegations that sons from the first wife, Abdirahman Yussuf Abdi and Samatar Adan have been misappropriating funds and assets from their father’s companies,” Singh said.
Singh further alleges that the police have already taken sides in the family tussle.
“In contrast, an allegation against our clients was made by Abdirahman on April 2, 2020 at the same Nairobi Area Police Station. In an obvious partial action, our clients were then summoned on April 6, 2020 to record statements before Sammy Mbarani.”
The lawyers claimed that Mbarani, who is investigating the case, lied that his clients will not record statements in their absence when he summoned them, only for the officer to force them to do so.
“We were therefore surprised to learn that our clients had been compelled to record statements. These statements were not under caution,” reads the lawyer’s letter to the IG.
On April 6, Abdirahman made a further claim that he had been assaulted by his estranged brothers and reported the matter at the Kilimani police station.
The lawyer faulted Mbarani for inserting himself into the assault case filed by Abdirahman against his clients at the Kilimani police station.
“Whilst Mbarani has nothing to do with Kilimani Police Station, he insisted on coming to the station where he informed the OCS that our clients were “dangerous” and should be arrested,” the advocate said in his letter to Mutyambai.
“In an odd twist of events, and as further evidence of police harassment, the investigating officer has summoned our client’s grandmother, Dofo Farah Dirie (aged over 85 years) and their mother Khadra Ahmed Jama (aged over 50 years) to record statements on an issue they have no idea,” Singh said.
The lawyer asked IG Mutyambai to remove Mbarani from the case citing his alleged lack of impartiality in investigating the claims.
The company in question for stealing and laundering over Sh500 million is Ox- Bow Management limited owned by Samatar and Abdirazak .
The other two companies in question are Multimark Company Ltd, which is owned by Abdirizak and Yalah Investment Ltd which is owned by Abdirahman.
The latter is also linked with another company called Kayla and Zaruji Investment Ltd where money from his father’s businesses was transferred. Detectives are currently investigating the companies.
The brothers are also accused of allegedly attempting to transfer 60 per cent of their father’s shares in the family’ flagship company Yalah Enterprises Company Ltd to unknown persons.
Our sources believe that the three brothers are trying to blackmail their father into dividing his properties, a move that the old man has steadfastly resisted, much to their chagrin.
Efforts to mediate an amicable end to the fighting by some Somali elders bore no fruit, the result of which has been an escalation of the feud between the brothers.