Ezekiel set free after DPP drops charges on Shakahola massacre

Ezekiel Odero of the New Life Prayer Centre and Church at Shanzu Law Courts in Mombasa. [Kelvin Karani, Standard]

Ezekiel Odero of the New Life Prayer Centre and Church, Kilifi, is a free man after the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) Tuesday said they had no evidence linking him to the Shakahola massacre.

In a letter filed in court, Peter Kiprop, Coast Regional Coordinator, Office of the DPP, also directed Mombasa Criminal Investigations Officer to close the file on Odero and his church.

Odero, who was arrested in April, was being investigated over a series of crimes including murder, money laundering, radicalisation and terrorism.

But yesterday, Shanzu Principal Magistrate Joe Omido closed the file and directed that Sh1.5 million cash bail be refunded.

State Prosecutor Anthony Musyoka said investigations had been completed and the file closed. “We have a report dated October 30, 2023, from ODPP regional coordinator. We are of the opinion the case be closed as the investigations are complete and the respective files forwarded to the office of the ODPP,” he said.

Speaking after he was released, Odero said he had forgiven all those who had put him through wrongful prosecution.

He said his trial was a test for the church’s future.  “I knew we did nothing wrong and thanks for standing with us during the hard times. This was about the church and the future. The Lord saw it was worth us going through this as a way to glorify Him. I have no vendetta with anyone and all involved. Let the truth set you all free,” said Odero.

His lawyers Cliff Ombeta, Dunstan Omari and Samson Nyaberi said they will not sue anyone for defamation.