• Odero moved to the High Court in Mombasa on May 3 seeking conservatory orders to prevent the government from freezing over 15 personal and church bank accounts.
• Omari accused the government of being mischievous by secretly going to Nairobi to seek orders for a matter which is already at the High Court in Mombasa.
The government is not acting in good faith in its investigations touching on Pastor Ezekiel Odero’s bank accounts, the preacher has told court through his lawyers.
A Milimani court on Monday granted the DCI the right to investigate Ezekiel's bank accounts and M-pesa lines despite an active hearing of an application before the Mombasa High Court against the move.
Odero moved to the High Court in Mombasa on May 3 seeking conservatory orders to prevent the government from freezing over 15 personal and church bank accounts.
Odero, who was released last Thursday after spending seven days behind bars, also asked the court to stop the government from excess and unilateral decisions that affect his church, school, restaurant and other businesses at the 65-acre parcel of land in Mavueni, Kilifi County.
He also wanted his church, New Life Prayer Centre and Church, and TV Station-World Evangelism TV- which were shut down on April 28, reopened.
According to the Director of Public Prosecution, Odero is being investigated for at least 14 offences that include murder, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalisation, genocide, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud and money laundering.
However, he is yet to be charged officially.
Odero, who is out on a Sh3 million bond with a surety of same amount or Sh1.5 million cash bail in the alternative, has been linked to controversial Malindi-based preacher Paul Mackenzie.
On Monday, Odero’s seven-member legal team led by Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta accused the State of using unconstitutional schemes to “bring down the Pastor.”
As Odero’s legal team was battling the State before Mombasa High Court Judge Olga Sewe, it emerged that the Director of Criminal Investigation had moved to Milimani Court and sought orders to freeze all bank and M-pesa accounts related to New Life Prayer Centre and Church and Pastor Odero.
“Today, we were at the High Court asking the State not to freeze the accounts of the church of Pastor Ezekiel, not to close the church, not to do any kind of mischief. However, the State, being a chameleon as it is, they have gone and applied for orders in a lower court in Nairobi,” Ombeta said.
Ombeta said they filed their petition on May 3 at the Mombasa High Court and were given orders to appear on Monday for the hearing on the application.
In their petition which was certified urgent last week, they listed the Attorney General, Inspector General of Police, Director of Public Prosecution, Communication Authority of Kenya, Ezra Chiloba, Ministry of Interior and Director of Criminal Investigations as respondents.
"Instead of the DCI coming to the Mombasa High Court to reply to our case, they have gone to a junior court in Nairobi and sought orders. The State does not respect the High Court,” Ombeta said.
In documents presented before the Mombasa High Court, Omari asked the court to exercise authority and quash the orders from the junior court.
"The High Court has the original jurisdiction over any other court except for a superior court. We are definitely going to tell the court to stop that because they are showing disrespect to the High Court,” he said.
Omari accused the government of being mischievous by secretly going to Nairobi to seek orders for a matter which is already at the High Court in Mombasa.
"One of the applications we will do before the High Court it to force that file to be brought to Mombasa. We want the government to come clean on this issue,” he said.
Ombeta confirmed that the banks have communicated to Odero about receiving the court order.
“This is no longer a criminal investigation, it is a religious war whereby Pastor Ezekiel must be brought to his knees. I will assure you that we are determined to ensure that the State does not misuse its powers,” he said.
According to the court document from Milimani, the DCI has been allowed to investigate accounts operated by Pastor Odero over alleged money-laundering claims.
The police have also been allowed to investigate Odero's seven M-Pesa lines.
The DCI wants the investigating officer, Chief Inspector Martin Munene, to obtain information and demand to be supplied with certified copies of the account opening documents, bank account statements, signatories of the accounts, RTGS (swift) for the period between January 14, 2017, to April 30, 2023.
“Pastor Ezekiel’s bank accounts have been receiving huge cash transactions which money is suspected to be part of proceeds of illicit cash,” reads part of the court document.
The Milimani Chief Magistrate Court is said to have issued a warrant authorising the DCI to have access to all the books relating to the over 15 accounts listed in the application.
It also ordered the managers of Cooperative Bank, NCBA, Equity, KCB, HFC and Safaricom to give the DCI the information required by DCI.
An order has also been issued forbidding withdrawal in transactions with respect to the listed bank accounts.