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Lawyers reveal defence strategy after tour of Pastor Ezekiel's Mavueni complex

Pastor Ezekiel's lawyers - Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta have revealed their defence strategy ahead of the church leader's trial in court.

New Life International Church leader Pastor Ezekiel Odero in custody, lawyers Danstan Omari, Cliff Ombeta reveal defence plan after tour of Mavueni church complex that includes bank, helipad and multimillion buildings

After inviting the media for a public tour of Pastor Ezekiel Odero's Mavueni complex in Kilifi County, his defence team has let on part of the strategy they intend to deploy to counter criminal charges against the church leader.

While speaking to reporters, lawyers Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta insisted that the embattled cleric is a contributing member of the Kilifi community around him.

Insisting that their client has been accountable for the 'sadaka [offering]' collected from his congregation, the lawyers dismissed the charges against Pastor Ezekiel as "envy" on the part of his accusers.

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Pastor Ezekiel is facing charges that include fraud, money laundering, murder, aiding suicide and radicalisation.

His lawyers now insist that the cleric is innocent, adding that he should be commended for turning a desolate 65-acre piece of land into a multimillion development.

"One year, one month ago, this was nothing. All this development has been done within one year and that explains the jealousy, envy and distortion.

"[This complex] also shows a serious level of accountability, you can see sadaka imefanya nini. And whatever is being done here is not for an individual's benefit, it's going to the core of society," lawyer Omari told reporters.

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On invitation from his lawyers, the press was taken on a tour of the Mavueni church complex, which was shut down after Pastor Ezekiel's arrest on April 27.

The vast property includes a church sanctuary built on 6 acres of land that can comfortably host up to 45,000 people and usually does on Sundays.

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Pastor Ezekiel's residential mansion, a manmade dam, as well as Kilifi International School (New Life), are also part of the multimillion property.

Pastor Ezekiel's 'living water' is also sold from a designated stand within the complex, near a waiting bay where sick people seeking healing are housed before meeting with the self-proclaimed miracle healer.

A restaurant and bank are also included in the development which some have called a 'mini-city'.

Citizen TV also reported that there are a number of ongoing constructions within the property, including a helipad, staff quarters, and a second mega altar.

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