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Hellon charged, Arunga takes tests

By | Published Tue, February 23rd 2010 at 00:00, Updated Tue, February 23rd 2010 at 00:00 GMT +3

By Evelyn Kwamboka

The saga surrounding former TV anchor Esther Arunga and Jazz maestro Nimrod Hellon Onyango is now in court.

Hellon appeared in court in the company of Quincy Zuma Timberlake and five others but declined to take plea on grounds that the charge against them was defective.

The charge stated that on February 20, at Runda Estate in Nairobi, with others not before court, they were jointly found to be members of an unlawful society commonly known as Finger of God Church.

The prosecution asked the court not to release the suspects on cash bail, since Timberlake is allegedly a foreigner. In an affidavit filed in court by the investigating officer Alphonse Lumosi, Timberlake is suspected to be holding a Kenyan identity illegally.

Mr Lumosi also stated that Timberlake was charged before the Chief Magistrate’s Court in Nairobi with obtaining money by false pretences and absconded until he was arrested on February 21.

The other five in court were Samwel Nahashon, Fredrick Onyango, Vincent Onyango, Grace Njiriri and Veronica Agape Koten’go.

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Meanwhile, Ms Arunga has been released from police cells and did not appear in court as anticipated to undergo counselling and medical tests.

Undergo counselling

Detectives handling her case said she would also be sent to a psychiatrist to ascertain her mental status.

She was released on bond on Sunday night pending the outcome of the medical results.

This was after her parents pleaded with police to give her time for counselling and medical tests before they could prefer any charges on her.

Police said they might use her as a witness depending on the outcome of the results.

Yesterday, the Finger of God Church officials and members arraigned in court claimed the institution was registered in 2007.

Their lawyer Harun Ndubi said the certificate of incorporation was issued following a successful application filed at the Attorney General’s office in 2002, but Prosecutor Onesmus Towett said the certificate is for a company and not church as purported by the defense.

Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei ordered they be detained at Muthaiga Police Station pending his ruling.

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