Why Pastor Ezekiel Odero wants Sh50m from frozen accounts
A Nairobi court will on May 19, 2023 rule on whether pastor Ezekiel Odero will be granted his wish of accessing his vast bank accounts.
The accounts which are subject to investigations by authorities have been frozen for the past three weeks and the Director of Public Prosecutions have pleaded with the courts to maintain the status quo.
“This Court exhausted its powers on May 8, 2023, when it allowed the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) period of 30 days to investigate serious crimes including money laundering by Pastor Ezekiel Odero of New life prayer center and church,” State prosecutors James Gachoka and Virginia Kariuki told the Milimani Law Courts.
Prosecution asked the Court to dismiss an application by Pastor Odero through lawyers Danstan Omari, Shedrack Wambui, Cliff Ombeta, Martina Swiga and Samson Nyaberi asking the Court to review its freeze orders and allow the Pastor to withdraw Ksh 50 million operational cost.
Gachoka told the court that if Pastor Odero is aggrieved by the freeze orders, he can only seek redress at the High Court which has the capacity to revise the orders of the lower court if there is a mistake in it.
“Odero is seeking to achieve an appeal through the back door by circumventing the court procedure under section 362 of the CPC which allow a party to seek a review at the High court if unsatisfied.” Said the prosecutor.
The court was told DCI obtained the orders to undertake investigations into a suspected case of money laundry. Which investigations will be interfered with if the court allowed Pastor Odero to argue his plea to have the freeze orders set aside.
Gachoka said a review order will frustrate DCI in discharging his legal mandate to probe the accounts in the complex matter which needs to be conducted in a quiet atmosphere.
“That any access and withdrawal of monies whether by a shilling or the 50 million, will highly prejudice the investigations and might tamper with the crucial evidence. This is a matter of great public interest and the court should allow DCI to complete investigations.” Submitted the prosecutor.
Gachoka urged the magistrate not to be swayed by emotional submissions by defence Lawyer Danstan Omari that the freezing of the accounts ‘is persecution of the Christian faithfuls by the government ‘.
In his submissions, Omari told the magistrate the arrest of Pastor Odero and freezing his accounts is an attack of the Christian faith and a calculated move to completely demolish the Church.
Omari said the Court jurisdiction to reverse its orders and allow Pastor Odero to argue his substantive application to set aside the freeze orders.
Magistrate Ekhubi said he will deliver his ruling on the case tomorrow.