Home » Top Kenyan officials called before court to account for missing member of wealthy Gulen family

Top Kenyan officials called before court to account for missing member of wealthy Gulen family

by Ishioma Emi

Kenya’s Kiambu High Court has summoned three top officials to account for the disappearance of Selahaddin Gulen. The fugitive Turkish businessman has been missing since May 3. 

The officials include Interior County Secretary Fred Matiang’i, Director of Directorate of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and Police Inspector General Hillary Mutyambai. 

Kenyans.co.ke reported that Kiambu High Court Judge Mary Kasango ordered the men to appear before the court on May 7 following an application filed by Rachier & Amollo Advocates.

According to Selahaddin’s lawyer Jothan Arua, Selahhadin was with someone at the time he was abducted. “However, the other individual was freed yesterday,” he said. 

Kenyans.co.ke also reported that Selahaddin began a legal protest against the Kenyan government in 2020. He sought to prevent his extradition to Turkey following a failed coup believed to have been sponsored by his uncle Fethullah Gulen.

“The real motive behind the issuance of the Red notice is that in 2016 (when I lived in the U.S.) there was a failed coup attempt in Turkey. It is suspected that one Fethullah Gulen (my uncle) may have supported the coup,” he was further quoted as saying.

On May 3, Salehaddin was abducted on Kiambu Road on the way to the DCI headquarters to meet with Interpol to clear his name over the allegations. 

Salahuddin is a member of the wealthy Gulen family. The family owns six academic institutions in Kenya called the Light Academy schools and many more across the world. 

Salahuddin is a nephew of U.S.-based Fethullah Gulen, an authoritative mainstream Turkish Muslim scholar, thinker, author, poet, opinion leader and founder of the Gulen movement. The movement was officially classified as a terrorist organization by the Turkish government in 2016. 

The Gulen movement

The Gulen movement is a religiously inspired network engaged in business, media, arts, charities and education, with its own schools functioning worldwide. 

The movement drifted from a nationally-based organization in the 1970s to an international network with a presence in more than 110 countries. Education is at the center of the Gulen project, as the founder believes a lack of religious education creates atheism. In Kenya, the movement has built six schools four in Nairobi and two in Mombasa.

Estimates vary drastically, yet some media have claimed the Gulen family is worth upwards of $20 billion.

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