Home » How Police Evidence Linked Pastor Ezekiel to Shakahola Graves
Africa Crime Kenya News

How Police Evidence Linked Pastor Ezekiel to Shakahola Graves

The Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) on Friday, April 28, adduced evidence that sought to link New Life International Church Pastor Ezekiel Odero to the mass burials in Shakahola Forest.

In court documents obtained by Kenyans.co.ke, DCI detectives demonstrated how people linked to Ezekiel transported dead bodies from Mavueni Church Complex to nearby mortuaries.

The authorities further noted that reviewed burial permits and established that a number of the Shakahola victims came from Pastor Ezekiel’s Church.

“There is credible information linking the bodies exhumed from the 800-acre piece of land situated in Shakahola, associated with Paul Makenzi and his accomplices, with several innocent and vulnerable followers of Ezekiel’s ministry.

“They are believed to have met their death in their quest for divine intervention from Pastor Ezekiel Mackenzie,” DCI stated. 

Mortuaries in Kilifi also told investigators Pastor Ezekiel’s Church had paid for several benevolent services at the premises. 

“He is linked to several occurrence book reports of almost 100 deaths that occurred in the church between 2022 and 2023. These deaths occurred within church precincts,” Senior Prosecution Counsel Jami Yamina told the court.

DCI officers testified that they were still reviewing evidence from several morgues, especially, the privately owns mortuaries that served New Life International Church. 

“The information I have further reveals that upon the demise of the innocent and vulnerable followers of the Respondent, their bodies were preserved at a privately run morgue in Kilifi before being transported and interred in the Shakahola Forest. This information is the subject of ongoing investigations,” the application read. 

In a rebuttal, Ezekiel’s Lawyer Jared Magolo accused the police of a witch-hunt and carrying out a fishing expedition over a matter that affected so many lives. 

“People seek spiritual intervention at the last moment when every medical intervention has failed. Now if such a person dies, are we supposed to turn to the pastor and blame him for the death?” Ezekiel’s Lawyer questioned. 

Investigators further linked Pastor Ezekiel to the controversial Paul Mackenzie who had since been charged with aiding the death of followers, terrorism and radicalisation. 

Police argued that Ezekiel and Mackenzie share a history of business investments in particular the TV station which was used in passing radicalized messages to believers with an intention of recruiting those followers, some of whom it is believed are amongst the hundreds of bodies so far exhumed at the Shakahola forest.

“Pastor Ezekiel also runs a Television Station namely Times TV that investigations reveal he paid Ksh500,000 as part payment for its purchase from Paul Mackenzi who is currently under police investigations in matters connected to the Shakahola massacre of innocent and vulnerable Kenyans,” police stated. 

However, through his Lawyer, Ezekiel agreed to the fact that he bought the TV station from Mackenzie but noted that the business transaction should not be linked to the Shakahola deaths.

“The buying of the TV station cannot be connected to the Shakahola killings. If such an analogue were to be sustained, then all of us who have bought second-hand cars would be held responsible for the crimes committed by previous owners, including the fights with their spouses,” his lawyer argued in court.

In the application, the judge was told that police were still investigating the renowned pastor for several offenses which he allegedly committed over several years. 

“The DCI is undertaking investigations relating to serious crimes the respondent is jointly and by conspiracy suspected to have committed including but not limited to the felony of murder; aiding suicide; abduction; radicalisation; the crimes against humanity; child cruelty, fraud and money laundering after the being accessories,” read part of the application. 

The police, therefore, requested the court to detain Pastor Ezekiel for 30 days pending the completion of investigations.

In response to the application, the judge ruled that Pastor Ezekiel will remain in police custody until Tuesday, May 2 when the court will give a ruling on whether it will allow police to hold him for 30 days.

Source: Kenyans.co.ke