The Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji on Thursday vehemently opposed the re-opening of 28 bank accounts belonging to controversial Kilifi Pastor Ezekiel Odero saying they are probing leads of money laundering.

Through state counsel Virgina Kariuki, Haji urged Milimani Magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi not to vary his orders freezing Odero’s accounts and his seven Mpesa lines until the High Court Mombasa delivers its ruling on the matter over the same issue.

Kariuki, while objecting to an attempt by Odero’s s lawyers to unfreeze his bank accounts, stated that they obtained the orders with clean hands as they were not aware of the high court matter lodged by the pastor in Mombasa High Court.

She said that police are investigating the accounts to establish the source of the funds and whether they are proceeds of crime.

“We are saying that we want to know the source of the funds, that is why we are here. The judge stated that the ruling will be issued on Monday. We were not aware that they had moved to Shanzu court”, Kariuki said.

Kariuki urged the magistrate to down its tools to await the outcome of the High Court case over the same saying superior court decisions supersede subordinate courts pronouncements.

But the preacher through his lawyers Danstan Omari, Sam Nyaberi and Cliff Ombeta protested the DPP request to await the outcome of the High Court case in Mombasa saying that the current freeze orders have grounded the operations of the New Life Church and Kilifi International School.

Omari told the magistrate to unfreeze the accounts of the school claiming that over 3,000 children that the preacher’s support and feeds are suffering due to lack of funds.

He accused the state of being insensitive saying that ‘the government does not give birth to children.”

“The state eats its own children and the state does not give birth to any child to know the pain that it inflicts on human beings,” he argued.

Omari argued that the state obtained the orders through fraud, misrepresentation and forum shopping.

Cliff Ombeta added that in the process of the state trying to be mischievous, they misled the judiciary and DPP.

The Kilifi-based preacher moved to court on Monday saying that the freeze orders obtained by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) have brought hardships and have catastrophically trickled-down effects.

Odero is challenging the court order that barred him and his associates from withdrawing or transferring the money for at least 30 days as police conduct investigations.

The order was served to respective managers at Co-operative Bank, NCBA, Equity, KCB, HFC and telecom Safaricom.

The frozen bank accounts are in the name of Kilifi International School, which Odero is setting up with 16 bank accounts at Co-op Bank and seven at NCBA. The other accounts are in Equity, KCB and HFC, each registered in Odero’s name.

M-Pesa accounts linked to seven mobile phone numbers belonging to Odera were also frozen.

Police claim that they suspected the money was from victims radicalised and made to sell their properties and surrender the proceeds to the preacher.

The ongoing investigations on Odero were lodged by police days after Mackenzie was arrested and detained and is under investigation over claims of helping people to kill themselves, aiding suicide, murder, abduction, radicalisation, genocide, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud and money laundering.

Magistrate Enkubi will deliver his ruling on whether he will unfreeze the accounts on Friday, May 12, 2023 morning at 9 am.


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