The Bungoma Law Court on Friday, May 12 extended the detention period of Eliud Wekesa, popularly known as Yesu wa Tongaren, by four more days pending the conclusion of ongoing investigations by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI).
Bungoma Principal Magistrate Tom Mark Olando further directed that the spiritual leader of the New Jerusalem sect in Bungoma be subjected to a psychiatric assessment at Bungoma County Referal Hospital.
Yesu wa Tongaren will be kept in custody at Bungoma Police Station as the officers conduct a search of his residence in Tongaren
The self-proclaimed Messiah had voluntarily presented himself to the police on Wednesday, May 10 following a summons for questioning over his teachings and religious activities, but was instead taken to court on Thursday, May 11.
Principal Magistrate Olando ordered that Yesu wa Tongaren be produced in court on Tuesday, May 16 whereby he will issue further orders.
The Directorate of Public Prosecution had claimed that Yesu wa Tongaren’s New Jerusalem Church was not duly registered as per the Law.
At Bungoma Law Courts, the preacher had a change of heart with regard to hiring a lawyer to defend his case, having previously been tight-lipped on whether or not he would hire a lawyer to defend him against legal attacks owing to his religious beliefs.
“My lawyers will be the sun and the moon since I have wronged no man. And when I say sun, it’s a parable. I shall leave it to you to understand it yourselves,” he told journalists at the time.
He brought in Lawyer Simiyu Wamalwa, who told the court that the Preacher had been operating the shrine for more than 12 years, claiming that “The DCI is using the Shakahola incident to infringe on the rights of Wekesa, let them allow him to enjoy his freedom of worship as provided in the Constitution.”
“The police are supposed to arrest someone if they have enough evidence to arrest him. It is becoming a bad culture, police are arresting people without any evidence only to ask for more time from the court to solicit evidence,” he told the court.
Bungoma DCIO Elijah Macharia told Magistrate Olando that there was credible evidence linking him to misleading teachings apart from the fact that he was running an unlawful society.
Yesu wa Tongaren is also accused of purporting to be Jesus Christ, running a religious cult in Tongaren, possession or use of proceeds of crime and money laundering as well as uttering words with intent to wound religious feelings which is contrary to section 138 of the Penal Code.