Pastor Ezekiel granted bail, laments govt threats to freeze his 15 bank accounts

May 5, 2023
Pastor Ezekiel Odero with his followers outside the Shanzu Law Courts in Mombasa County on Thursday, May 4, 2023.

The Shanzu Law Courts on Thursday released pastor Ezekiel Odero on Sh3 million bond or Sh1.5 million cash bail.

Senior Principal Magistrate Joe Omindo dismissed an application by the State to detain him for 30 more days, saying the prosecution failed to prove relevant material evidence.

The magistrate however directed Pastor Ezekiel to report to a police station once a week or as required by State.

The New Life Church and Prayer Centre preacher is also not required to talk about the case or the Shakahola cult in public.

Magistrate Omindo said the set bond terms will remain in force until the investigations are done or until the preacher is formally charged.

Pastor Odero is being investigated for murder, aiding suicide, child cruelty, abduction radicalization, genocide, crimes against humanity, fraud, and money laundering.

Meanwhile, pastor Ezekiel has complained to the court that the State is threatening to freeze his bank accounts.

In court papers filed at the Mombasa High Court, Ezekiel wants the state blocked from freezing 15 bank accounts linked to his New Life Prayer Centre and Church.

“In the interim and pending the hearing and determination of this application, this honourable court be pleased to issue a conservatory order temporarily restraining the respondents from taking adverse action against Odero or New Life Prayer Center and Church including the freezing of the church accounts in Cooperative Bank and NCBA bank,” court papers read.

Through his lawyer Danstan Omari, Ezekiel also wants the court to compel the State to reopen his TV station and church.

“The threats to freeze my bank accounts and the church’s bank accounts is a double threat to my right to property and freedom of worship and association since the operations of the church, including ongoing construction and development projects within the church premises will stand paralysed,” he argues.

Pastor Ezekiel noted that some of the projects include a restaurant, and plans to establish an international school.

“We have restaurants for all cadre of individuals, banking facilities and ongoing construction of modern facilities for visitors seeking spiritual healing and salvation,” he said.

Pastor Odero also said the church has temporary accommodation for visitors who pay Sh500 for stay, which must not exceed five days.

Justice Olga Sewe on Thursday certified the application as urgent. She ruled that after perusing the notice of motion and the affidavit sworn by Ezekiel, she was satisfied that the application was indeed urgent.

She directed him to serve the application to the respondents and appear in court on Monday next week for an inter-parties hearing.

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