New Life Prayer Center pastor Ezekiel Odero
New Life Prayer Center pastor Ezekiel Odero

The church allegedly lost Ksh. 20 million as a result of the compelled shutdown of the New Life Prayer Centre on Sunday, May 7, according to lawyer Danstan Omari, who has requested an explanation from Inspector General of Police Japheth Koome.

Omari asserts that police officers prevented believers from congregating at the Ezekiel Odero-run church, which is currently under investigation for the Shakahola massacre.

The letter addressed to IG Koome states that it is regrettable that on Sunday, May 7, 2023, some of your officers forced their way into our client's church while others blocked the entrance, thereby effectively rendering it challenging for worshippers and adherents to gather together for their Sunday service.

Notwithstanding having been informed that the church is registered under the Societies Act, Mr Omari, one of the solicitors for the troubled preacher, said that the police operations constituted an assault on the right to freedom of thought and religion.

The letter claims that the church suffered Sunday losses of approximately Kshs. 17 million on the loss of offerings and tithes, including a loss of planned lodging expenses valued at Kshs. 2 million, and wasted food assessed at Kshs. 500,000, and the loss of the church's reputation.

At the same time, the legal representative asserts that the police have shut out some 2500 labourers who are now working on building projects within the property by blocking the roads heading up to the church.

Because of the lockout, Mr Omari said, numerous projects' completion dates would be disrupted.

As a result, Omari added, "the best interests of the children will most likely be negatively impacted to the detriment of the school opening date for the Kilifi International School and the Kilifi University."

The legal representative has threatened to file a lawsuit to obtain compensation for what he claims are ongoing blatant constitutional breaches by the IG's agents.

The letter states, "You are warned of legal action being taken against you personally and other higher-ranking police officers who have come to terms with acting with indifference and in abuse of your constitutional rights for the aforementioned complications and outrageous constitutional disregards by officers acting on your instructions."

Mr Omari further said that he will be contacting the Independent Policing and Oversight Authority (IPOA) to request that the police IG be investigated for suspected abuse of office.

In defiance of a verbal order given by Coast Regional Coordinator Rhoda Onyancha after his incarceration, Pastor Ezekiel attended worshippers at the large church in Mavueni on Sunday, only days after being freed from jail.

Police reportedly made an effort to roadblock believers who gathered at the preacher's 300-acre prayer complex as early as 5 a.m. on Sunday, according to the Daily Nation.

Danstan Omari and Cliff Ombeta, the televangelist's solicitors, said that there was no court order prohibiting Ezekiel from conducting the church service.

It was unlawful to block the gate since the property is home to many enterprises. We've requested that the cops open the doors for worshippers. The Daily Nation cited Omari as adding, "They had no choice but to allow them in."

Videos posted online depicted the church as completely full and filled with attendees.

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