ATPU seizes items from Pastor Ezekiel Odero's New Life Centre and Church

New Life Centre and Church Pastor Ezekiel Odero.[Standard, file]

Pastor Ezekiel Odero's troubles have continued after the Anti-Terror Police Unit (ATPU) seized computer drives, communication gadgets, holy water, and handkerchiefs from the New Life Centre and Church.

 The move comes after the Registrar of Societies issued a notice to deregister the church, citing alleged failure to file returns.

On Saturday, Odero's lawyers, Cliff Ometa and Dunstan Omari, revealed that the ATPU confiscated the aforementioned items on Tuesday, claiming they needed to analyze them in Nairobi.

"The ATPU came to the church on Tuesday and seized the church's communication items, computer drives, holy water, and handkerchiefs, stating that they were being taken for analysis," Ombeta said.

Police are investigating Pastor Odero's links to the controversial Paul Mackenzi's Shakahola massacre.

They are looking into several charges against him, including murder, aiding suicide, abduction, radicalization, genocide, crimes against humanity, child cruelty, fraud, money laundering, and being an accessory before and after the commission of crimes.

However, Odero has distanced himself from Mackenzi of the Good News International Church, describing their previous relationship as an unsuccessful commercial interaction regarding his interest in buying a television station that never materialized.

Ombeta stated that on Monday, the cleric would be suing the registrar of societies for failing to provide the church's file.

He added that the State has also been investigating the large expanse of land owned by Odero's ministry, but the National Lands Commission (NLC) has clarified the land titles.

"The NLC has confirmed that the land titles were properly registered. The question is, why is the Registrar of Societies leading us on a wild goose chase and hiding the church's file?" Ombeta questioned.

He further revealed that the church's file had gone missing from the Registrar of Societies' office, and their attempts to locate and access the file for filing returns had been unsuccessful.

Ombeta mentioned that despite the notice to deregister the church being issued 21 days ago, it had not been officially served upon the church, and they only learned about it through the press.

"We will sue the Registrar of Societies for abuse of office and the attempt to deregister the church. We have been camping at the Registrar of Societies' offices in an attempt to access the church's file, but we have been informed that it is missing," Ombeta stated.

Omari added that the Registrar of Societies' claim of the church failing to file returns since 2012 was unsubstantiated.

He mentioned that the lawyers had been writing and staying at the Registrar of Societies' office since Thursday, trying to obtain the church's file to file the returns.

Omari stated that Ezekiel's church was officially registered in 2012 and has been operating for 12 years. The Register of Society was aware of its existence but is now seeking to deregister it, alleging a failure to file returns.


"Ever since he attracted over 10 million followers and filled the entire stadium in Nairobi, jealousy has led to persecution," Omari explained.

"As a result, his church, accounts, and Television Station were temporarily closed but later reopened through a court order."

Omari emphasized that if the church were to be closed, the government would confiscate its assets. However, he clarified that Pastor Odero does not own a single bank account. "Those attempting to seize the assets are pursuing a futile endeavor because they belong to over 10 million Christians, not Pastor Ezekiel," Omari asserted.

According to Omari, the Communication Authority of Kenya tribunal informed them that the church's TV station will remain closed for an extended period, potentially for up to 10 years, due to the tribunal's lack of complete board members and inability to convene.

Omari also revealed that Pastor Odero has upcoming events scheduled in Machakos and Nairobi's Kasarani Stadium, starting on 9th June and 10th June.

"He is facing persecution, and the actions of the Registrar of Societies appear to be aimed at paralysing him and disrupting religious functions," Omari said.

Omari explained that Ezekiel's church was registered in 2012 and had been operating for 12 years, with the Registrar of Societies being aware of its existence.

Now, they sought to deregister it based on an alleged failure to file returns.

"Now that over 10 million people have become his followers and he has filled the entire stadium in Nairobi, he has been persecuted out of jealousy. Since then, his church, accounts, and television station have been closed and later reopened through a court order," Omari said.

He emphasised that if the church were to be closed, the government would confiscate its assets, even though not a single bank account belonged to Pastor Odero.

"Those who want to seize the assets are on a futile pursuit because they belong to over 10 million Christians, not Pastor Ezekiel," Omari noted.