- Pastor Ezekiel did not take more than five minutes inside the DCI offices,
- His lawyers confirmed that the police officers did not question him.
Pastor Ezekiel Odero on Monday appeared before the Directorate of Criminal Investigation (DCI) at the Coast Regional Police Headquarters for the third time since his release on bail on May 4.
Pastor Ezekiel Odero on Monday appeared before the Directorate of Criminal Investigation at the Coast regional police headquarters for the third time since his release on bail on May 4.
However, the embattled New Life Christian Center and Church was not interrogated over his connection to cult-leader Pastor Paul Mackenzie, who is in police custody in connection with the deaths of over 240 people who died while fasting at the vast Shakahola forest.
Donning his signature all-white garb and shoes, Pastor Ezekiel drove to the DCI offices in Mombasa accompanied by his lawyers Danstan Omari, Cliff Ombeta and Sam Nyaberi.
However, Pastor Ezekiel did not take more than five minutes inside the DCI offices, and his lawyers confirmed that the police officers did not question him.
“Today is the third Monday that we are reporting to the DCI offices. However, he has never been asked any questions since the first Monday. We have been reporting, but in less than two minutes we are out,” Omari said.
He said his client is a law-abiding citizen and cannot disregard any court order, adding that they will appear again next Monday as required.
Ombeta said when they appeared before the DCI last Monday, officers told them that they were going to have a meeting with the Coast Regional Coordinator Rhodah Onyancha.
During their third visit on Monday, the investigation officer informed them that the last week’s meeting with Onyancha did not take place because Interior Cabinet Secretary Kithure Kindiki was around.
“The CCIO said they were not ready to proceed with anything. They have no questions for us at this particular moment, they cannot record any statement, and we are free to go. That is why we are out here,” Ombeta said.
He said they have made efforts to continue reporting at the DCI offices and will continue to cooperate. However, he questioned if the state is making any effort to end the matter.
“Our expectation is that this matter comes to an end once and for all,” Ombeta said.
On May 4, the Shanzu law court senior principal magistrate Joe Omido released Pastor Ezekiel on a Sh3 million bond or an alternative of Sh1.5 million cash bail.
This is after throwing out an application by the prosecution to hold the pastor for 30 more days after the initial seven days he had issued elapsed.
The prosecution had applied to detain him for 30 days citing fresh affidavits in a case involving mass deaths at the infamous 800-acre Shakahola forest.
However, Pastor Ezekiel has distanced himself from any connection with the controversial Mackenzie, who is accused of ordering his followers to fast to death in order to meet Jesus.
Through his lawyers, Pastor Ezekiel argued that there is no connection between him and Mackenzie.
“We want to make it clear that Pastor Ezekiel has nothing to do with Mackenzie, anybody trying to link him to Mackenzie is misguided,” Omari said.
He added that the teachings of Pastor Ezekiel have nothing to do with radicalisation, starvation to death as a way of going to heaven.
“There is nothing to stop children from going to school; in fact, we have facilities to educate children. Whoever is pushing this agenda should stop. Mackenzie is totally different from Ezekiel,” he said.
Earlier in the day, a matter in which pastor Ezekiel had sued the state for closing his church and TV was postponed and will come for mention on July 13.
The matter was before Mombasa High Court judge Olga Sewe.
The judge had on May 15, dismissed two applications the pastor had filed seeking orders to unfreeze his bank accounts and reopening of his TV station.
Sewe had ruled that the two petitions lacked merit, and were misconceived and untannable.
In their suit, the pastor’s lawyers had three prayers, the church accounts to be unfrozen, the church TV station be reopened and accused the state of unlawful interference with the religious activities at the New Life Prayer Center and Church.