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Ezekiel Odero battles govt to re-open his church, TV station

Pastor Ezekiel Odero fights back the closure of hist church and TV station at the High Court

Pastor Ezekiel Odero takes on the state in church reopening battle

New Life Prayer Centre owner, Pastor Ezekiel Ombok Odero, has moved to the High Court seeking the reopening of his church in Mavueni, Kilifi County.

The pastor's church was closed down on April 27, allegedly violating his congregants' right to worship, and now he seeks redress through the courts.

Through his lawyer, Danstan Omari, Ezekiel argues that the Coast Regional Commissioner, Rhoda Onyancha, should have waited for the outcome of the miscellaneous application before closing down the church.

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Omari further argues that the allegations against his client, Ezekiel Odero, are unsubstantiated, scandalous, and untrue.

Additionally, he notes there have been increasing extra-judicial interference by the respondents who currently threaten to freeze the church bank accounts, maliciously intending to paralyze the activities and operations of Ezekiel and his church.

Omari notes that if these actions are actualized, they will unreasonably deny Ezekiel and his congregation his freedom of religion and right to property as decreed under the constitution.

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The lawyer further argues that unless this application and petition are heard on a priority basis and determined expeditiously, the applicant's bill of rights and fundamental freedoms will continue to be violated by the respondents.

“That unless this application and petition is heard on a priority basis and determined expeditiously, the applicant's bill of rights and fundamental freedoms, to wit, his right to dignity, equality, fair administrative action, to property and to freedom of religion, right to fair hearing and rights of an accused person will continue to be violated by the respondent,” he noted.

Chiloba, Inspector General of Police Josphat Koome, the Attorney General and the Director of public prosecutions have been mentioned in the application as respondents, among other state organs.

Meanwhile, the pastor was denied bail by a court in Shanzu, Mombasa, where he is being investigated for his alleged involvement in the Shakahola mass killings in Kilifi.

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The court granted the prosecution until May 4, 2023, to complete investigations and ordered that the matter be mentioned on that date.

The ruling stated that Odero be detained for seven days, starting from April 27, the day of his arrest, citing concerns that the televangelist could interfere with witnesses due to his perceived influence.

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The developments come amid a tense climate in Kenya's religious community, with several pastors being accused of exploiting their followers and engaging in illicit activities.

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