Saturday, April 13, 2024

Blow to Pastor Ezekiel as court denies access to his cash in banks

In a significant legal setback for Pastor Ezekiel Odero of New Life International Church, the Mombasa High Court has rejected his plea to unfreeze his 16 bank accounts currently under investigation.

High Court Judge Olga Sewe deemed the applications as misconceived, refraining from commenting on the validity of the orders issued by the Milimani Magistrate Court in Nairobi.

Judge Sewe at the same time dismissed Pastor Ezekiel’s application to restore his TV station’s broadcasting capabilities.

She advised the pastor and his legal team to exhaust all available legal channels with the Communication Authority before seeking further recourse in court.

The Office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) opposed the reopening of Pastor Ezekiel’s bank accounts, citing concerns that doing so could jeopardize ongoing investigations into suspected money laundering activities.

Senior Assistant DPP Virgina Kariuki informed the court that significant progress had been made in the investigation, particularly through the examination of the pastor’s mobile money lines and accounts.

During the hearing before Milimani Magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi, the ODPP expressed surprise at the High Court petition lodged by Pastor Ezekiel, stating that they were unaware of its existence.

The prosecutors emphasized the importance of tracing the source of the funds in question.

Pastor Ezekiel’s lawyers, Danstan Omari, Sam Nyaberi, and Cliff Ombeta, raised objections to the ODPP’s application, arguing that it disregarded the ongoing matter in the Mombasa High Court.

Omari highlighted the adverse impact of the freeze orders on the operations of New Life Church and Kilifi International School, which provided support to over 3,000 children.

With the court ruling against unfreezing the bank accounts and resuming TV station broadcasts, Pastor Ezekiel Odero faces continued legal obstacles in his attempts to regain control over his financial assets.

The investigation into the alleged money laundering activities will proceed, and the pastor and his legal team are urged to follow established legal procedures in their pursuit of resolution.

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