Pastor Ezekiel appeals decision by CAK to suspend his TV broadcasting licence

Embattled televangelist pastor Ezekiel Odero. PHOTO/ Courtesy

New Life Church televangelist Ezekiel Ombok Odero has appealed the decision by Communications Authority of Kenya Director General Ezra Chiloba to suspend their TV broadcast Licence.

Odero and New Life Communication Limited want the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal to set aside or vary the decision and letter directing suspension of the broadcasting licence of World Evangelism TV.

Through lawyer Danstan Omari, the applicants also want the tribunal to issue an order directing the reinstatement of the World Evangelism TV frequency and or order directing the uninterrupted broadcast of World Evangelism TV. 

The pastor argues that CAK Director General erred in law and in fact when after dispatching the letter dispatched directly to them, outlining various allegations pertaining to their television station failed to afford them an opportunity to be heard and refute these allegations in accordance with the hallowed principles of natural justice. 

He added the DG erred in law and in fact when it abruptly suspended World Evangelism Tv Broadcast License despite having explicitly granted the them a 45-day grace period to adhere to the stipulated regulations and rectify any deficiencies within their establishment. 

The televangelist further claims that CAK erred in law and in fact by failing to restore World Evangelism Tv broadcasting licence despite them having complied and written to demonstrate compliance with all set rules and norms making the current suspension an arbitrary and unfair measure that lacks any justifiable rationale.

In addition, the applicants claim that CAK erred in law and in fact by denying them the chance to exercise their right to defend themselves, as CAK opted to suspend their broadcasting licence without affording them due process. 

“This unwarranted suspension is a clear manifestation of unfairness, represents a draconian measure, and flagrantly contravenes the Appellant’s entitlement to fair administrative action and a fair hearing,” the televangelist claims.

Pastor Ezekiel’s Argument

In his affidavit, the pastor states that by virtue of the explicit communication extended by the Authority, wherein a stipulated time frame of 45 days was granted for adherence to prescribed regulations and remedial actions, one would reasonably deduce that World Evangelism Tv station continues to operate unimpeded. “However, it is indeed shocking to note that the station has, in fact, been suspended.”

“My contention, based on substantial evidence, revolves around the core premise that I was systematically deprived of a fair and impartial opportunity to defend World Evangelism TV against the allegations levied by the Authority. Rather than providing me with the requisite avenue to present a comprehensive rebuttal, the Communication Authority of Kenya has unilaterally resorted to the draconian and inequitable measure of suspending the broadcasting licence, an action we maintain to be profoundly unjust,” he adds

According to him, the crux of their argument rests upon the fundamental assertion that the Authority flagrantly disregarded his right to due process by summarily suspending the broadcasting licence without granting him an adequate opportunity to mount a defence, a gross violation of his rights.

It is his submission that the ministry has always run the television station to the required standards and dutifully filed the relevant documentations with the Communication Authority of Kenya. 

“We replied informing the Authority that we had complied with the rules but they disregarded this and suspended broadcasting,” the pastor claims.