Pastor Ezekiel Odero, his followers held a church service on Sunday, May 7, despite orders from Coast Regional Coordivnator Rhoda Onyancha who had directed the closure of the New Life Prayer Centre and Church, amid his criminal investigation.
Speaking to Kisasa News, Odero’s lawyer, Danstan Omari confirmed that the pastor’s supporters had pitched camp outside the church from 5:00 am.
The followers had camped outside the entrance to the church premises as early as 5am but were blocked by a contingent of police which led to a commotion. This, however, took Pastor Odero’s lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Danstan Omari’s intervention for peace to be restored.
“The police had blocked the supporters from accessing the church. We informed the officers that they needed to produce a written and stamped document stating the orders of the closure. Since they did not have it, they left the premises, and the service is continuing as we speak,” Omari stated.
Mr Omari argued that no court order was issued to close the premises and that Ms Onyancha only communicated the instruction verbally.
“The compound hosts different businesses, so it was illegal to barricade the gate. We have asked police to let worshippers in. They had no option but to let them in,” the lawyer said.
At the time of going to press, police were still within the prayer centre as the service was ongoing with Pastor Odero preaching about Abrahamic Star and Cross Border Anointing.
On 27 April, Coast Regional Coordinator Rhoda Onyancha ordered the church closed after Pastor Odero was arrested over deaths that occurred at his premises and were reported at various morgues or institutions.
Pastor Ezekiel and fellow televangelist Paul Mackenzie are under investigation for the Shakahola tragedy in Kilifi County, that has seen more than a hundred people die from starvation, under Mackenzie’s instructions.