Pastor Ezekiel Odero of New Life International Church on Tuesday, May 2, directed his lawyers (Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta) to file an application before Shanzu Court asking the magistrate to free him.
This move came after the Directorate of Public Prosecution (ODPP) accused him of taking part in a joint conspiracy to bury dead followers at Shakahola Forest, where over 100 bodies had been exhumed.
The police, as a result, are pursuing charges of money laundering, felony, murder, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalisation, genocide, crimes against humanity, child cruelty and fraud against Pastor Ezekiel Odero.
However, Pastor Ezekiel Odero’s legal team led by Danstan Omari has filed an application in court to have their client released. The lawyer confirmed that Odero also sought to stop the court from detaining him for 30 days as applied by the prosecutor.
In the affidavit, the embattled pastor told the court that the State had no reason to detain him any longer since investigators were still reviewing evidence lodged against him.
“The police claim to be collecting evidence on the Preacher yet they want to continue holding him. That is a complete violation of Pastor Ezekiel’s right,” Omari stated.
The lawyers further argued that their latest application was meant to arrest the ruling on which Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Joe Omido was set to deliver at 2 pm.
“The gist of the application is that the DCI approached the court using an affidavit that makes very wild and unsubstantiated allegations.
As a very good response to the allegations, we have equally put in an affidavit that seeks to respond blow by blow in every single issue that has been raised in the DCI affidavit,” Omari explained.
While making an application to detain Ezekiel for 30 days, the Directorate of Public Prosecution (ODPP) claimed that the New Life International Church overseer could interfere with the ongoing investigations if released on bail.
The police also attempted to link Ezekiel to controversial Malindi-based preacher, Paul Mackenzie, who had been charged with aiding the death of followers in Shakahola Forest.
Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Joe Omido is set to review the case and rule on the application by the Prosecution while considering the exigence of time as a consequence of the constitutional timelines for the arrest and arraignment of suspects.
The accusations against Pastor Ezekiel Odero are very serious, and it is essential that the truth is discovered in this case. It is important to note, however, that anyone charged with a crime is innocent until proven guilty.
It is very crucial that all parties involved in this case adhere to the law and follow the correct procedures to ensure that justice is served.
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