Cliff Ombeta and Danstan Omari on Pastor Ezekiel

After learning that his church file had disappeared from the Office of the Registrar of Societies, Pastor Ezekiel Odero of the New Life Prayer Centre and Church has vowed to take the matter to court.

Pastor Ezekiel Odero asserts via his solicitors, Cliff Ombeta and Danstan Omari, that the action is the result of a government strategy to thwart his efforts and deregister his church.

Ezekiel claims that after going to the registrar of societies to submit his taxes, he was told that his file was lost.

"The registrar of societies has arrived and requests that the church be deregistered. We have to be able to submit taxes, which is one of the requirements they provided us," Ombeta said.

The flamboyant attorney emphasised that even when Ezekiel was freed from detention, his bank accounts were unfrozen, and the church was reopened, his problems only got worse. He claims that Ezekiel's church has consistently faced closure threats from the Registrar of Societies.

"We thought that the paperwork that is associated with the registrar must be accessible; at the very least, the information must be there online, if not in the actual file. The file, however, is reportedly neither with the Attorney General's office nor the registrar's office, and we are unsure of its actual whereabouts," he said.

"We are battling those who have the power to make data vanish, but it's about time someone did something truly powerful to stop them; be assured, we will file a lawsuit. We don't know for whom we are fighting, but we'll keep at it," he said.

The next is from Pastor Ezekiel Omari, who, on the other hand, said that Ezekiel was dissatisfied with the government as a result of his enormous following.

According to the attorney, the religious leader who had registered his church in 2012 ran it without incident up until April of this year, when the state began to pursue him.

"I believe that is when people started to feel envious and hateful and started coming after Pastor Ezekiel. He conducted prayers last year at Nairobi's Kasarani Stadium, which attracted tens of thousands of worshippers. He's been pushed a lot since then," Omari remarked.

He pointed out that the state consistently thwarted the pastor's desire and motivation to "spread" the word of God by forcibly closing the church and making claims that he (Ezekiel) hadn't submitted returns since the church's founding.

"When we believed all these were upside down, the registrar of societies presented before parliament and disclosed that the church hadn't been able to file its tax returns since 2012, and consequently, they presented an ultimatum of thirty days or the church would be shut down," the lawyer added.

The legal team confirmed that the pastor will appear before the High Court on Monday, May 29, 2023, and emphasised that they won't allow the administration's "ill-intention" to intimidate them.


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