The controversial Kenyan pastor of the Good News International Church Ezekiel Odero who is facing charges related to the shocking discovery of mass graves is expected in court today after being accused of a range of offences, including murder, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalization, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud, and money laundering.
The Prosecution has alleged that Odero has links to cult leader Paul Nthenge Mackenzie, who is currently in custody for terrorism charges connected to the deaths of over 100 individuals, many of whom were children.
Mackenzie is believed to have incited his followers to starve themselves to death for them to ‘meet Jesus’. Odero arrived in court in the city of Mombasa for his hearing, while his supporters camped outside, dressed in all white and red, praying with bibles in their hands.
The police arrested Odero last week for the “mass killing of his followers” and closed his New Life Prayer Centre and Church located south of Malindi.
So far, 109 people have been confirmed dead in what is being called the “Shakahola forest massacre.” According to an autopsy revelation from government pathologists, starvation was found to be the primary cause of most of the deaths, while some of the victims have been reported to be strangled, beaten, or suffocated to death
The Prosecution has credible evidence linking the corpses found in Shakahola to the deaths of several of Odero’s “innocent and vulnerable followers.”
According to court documents, Odero and Mackenzie share a “history of business investments,” including a television station used to spread “radicalized messages” to their followers.
In a court filing earlier this week, Odero denied any association with Mackenzie and rejected his teachings.
According to Odero’s legal team lead by, lawyer Cliff Ombeta, there was no evidence linking the pastor to the Shakahola discoveries.
President William Ruto has promised to take action against unscrupulous churches and cults involved in criminal activities.
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