Mombasa court has directed that Pastor Ezakiel Odero of New life International Church be detained for two more days as police conclude their investigations.
Shanzu Senior Principal Magistrate Joe Omido directed that the case be heard on Thursday, May 4, to allow police officers to complete the probe on the suspected cult deaths.
The pastor had, earlier directed his lawyers, led by Danstan Omari, to file an application before Shanzu Court to beseech the magistrate to set him free.
Lawyer Omari confirmed that the application sought to prevent the court from detaining the pastor for 30 days, as requested by the prosecution team.
Through his advocate, the pastor argued that the State had no reason to detain him any longer as the investigations were yet to be concluded.
“The police claim to be collecting evidence on the Preacher yet they want to continue holding him. That is a complete violation of Pastor Ezekiel’s right,” Omari stated.
He also faulted the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) for arresting the pastor before the investigations were concluded.
“The gist of the application is that the DCI approached the court using an affidavit that makes wild and unsubstantiated allegations.
“As a very good response to the allegations, we have equally put in an affidavit that seeks to respond blow by blow in every single issue that has been raised in the DCI affidavit,” Omari explained.
The pastor was arrested on charges of radicalization, terrorism and preaching a dangerous doctrine that led to individuals killing themselves.
According to detectives investigating the case, they had credible evidence that some people who died at Odero’s church were at Shakahola in a land associated to suspected Kilifi cult leader Paul Mackenzie.
The police have been investigating the matter and are determined to get to the bottom of it.
Interior CS Kithure Kindiki on Thursday revealed that more than 100 people had been rescued at the church premises in Mavueni during the Pastor’s arrest.