Pastor Ezekiel Odero of New Life International Church will turn to his legal counsel consisting of renowned Nairobi lawyers, Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta, to defend him from the State which imposed criminal charges on him, including mass killing.
The televangelist unveiled the two lawyers in his legal team on Saturday, April 29 who will defend him from other accusations such as terrorism, kidnapping and indoctrination of faithful.
After visiting Pastor Ezekiel at Port Police Station in Mombasa County where he is being held, the two lawyers claimed that their client is not linked whatsoever to the deaths in Shakahola, depicted by over 100 bodies being exhumed.
“Only 15 People have died in the Church since it started more than a year ago. Our client is not linked to the deaths of persons in Shakahola,” Ombeta revealed to journalists, with Omari backing him.
Jared Magolo will now deputise the two lawyers, having been at Pastor Ezekiel’s defence since his arrest on Thursday, April 27.
Ombetta and Omari’s first task will be to seek Ezekiel’s release on Tuesday, May 2 and prevent the prosecutor’s plea to have him detained for 30 days.
On Friday, April 28, a Shanzu Law Court ordered the police to hold pastor Ezekiel in custody after detectives investigating the Shakahola case revealed credible evidence that some people who died at Pastor Ezekiel’s church were buried in the piece of land belonging to the Kilifi cult leader Paul Mackenzie.
“The respondent (Pastor Ezekiel) runs Times Television, which investigations have revealed he paid Ksh500,000 as part payment for its purchase from Mackenzie, who is currently under probe in matters connected to the Shakahola massacre of innocent and vulnerable Kenyans,” State Counsels Jami Yamina and Peter Kiprop stated while appearing before Shanzu Chief Magistrate Joe Omido.
“There is credible evidence linking the bodies exhumed from the 800 acres situated in Shakahola, associated with Mackenzie and his accomplices, with several innocent and vulnerable followers of his ministry believed to have met their death in their quest for divine intervention from Pastor Ezekiel, which intelligence has triggered police investigations,” Yamina added.
Detectives also traced Ksh3 million in financial transactions between Pastors Ezekiel and Mackenzie for the purchase of a TV station, with the former confessing to buying the TV station from Mackenzie but said the business transaction should not be linked to the Shakahola deaths.
“The buying of the TV station cannot be connected to the Shakahola killings. If such an analogue were to be sustained, then all of us who have bought second-hand cars would be held responsible for the crimes committed by previous owners, including the fights with their spouses,” his lawyer argued in court.