Court dismisses state application opposing review of orders freezing pastor Ezekiel’s accounts

Embattled televangelist pastor Ezekiel Odero. PHOTO/ Courtesy

The court has dismissed a preliminary objection by the state opposing review of orders to have the accounts of pastor Ezekiel Odero unfrozen.

The prosecution had opposed the review of the freezing orders on grounds that the court lacked the requisite jurisdiction to review its own orders adding that the applicants should have filed for an appeal or review before a superior court.

It was the state’s argument that the court’s mandate ended when it granted the orders to freeze the said accounts on 8th May 2023.

Senior Principal Magistrate Ben Mark Ekhubi dismissed the application saying if the courts mandate ended when it granted the orders on 8th May 2023, how then would it exercise its supervisory role over the investigating agencies on orders it granted ex parte?

“I hasten to pose if upon granting the orders dated 8th May 2023, and as argued by the learned prosecutors, the court becomes functus officio how then could this court exercise its supervisory role over the investigating agencies on orders it granted ex parte?” the magistrate ruled.

The State opposed the reviewing of orders that froze Pastor Ezekiel Odero‘s 30 accounts for 30 days on grounds that opening the accounts would prejudice the ongoing investigations.

The televangelist’s lawyers Danstan Omari, Sam Nyaberi, Cliff Ombeta, Shadrack Wambui and Martina Swiga opposed the said the preliminary objection is misconceived, ill-advised and a legal misadventure meant to distract the court from determining their application to review the freezing orders.

Investigating Officer Martin Munene told the court that they were yet to finish investigating 28 accounts linked to the embattled Pastor and his ministry.

“We have only received statements from five banks which were voluminous in nature and therefore need time to go through them,” the officer said.

Munene added that unfreezing part or wholly all the accounts will prejudice the investigation, adding that the court should allow them to conclude investigations.

“There are at least 28 bank accounts that are of interest; 16 accounts are held in cooperative, 9 with NCBA, 1 Equity bank, 1 KCB and 1 bank account held at HFC.

Moreso, the court heard that the state was yet to receive a report from Safaricom regarding the MPESA accounts.

The pastor’s lawyers filed an application seeking to have their client granted access to the two bank accounts held at Cooperative Bank .