Holy water and white handkerchiefs seized by the Anti-terror Police Unit (ATPU) from the Mavueni-based church of embattled Pastor Ezekiel Odero are set to undergo testing at the government chemist.
Through his lawyers Danstan Omari, Jared Magolo, Shadrack Wambui and Cliff Ombeta, Ezekiel now claims that the bottled water and handkerchiefs would undergo chemical testing in the government laboratory to establish the contents.
"We are shocked. We have been informed that the water will be tested by the government chemist. We do not know what divine water which has been prayed for will be tested for. l wonder what they will discover. The prayers?" Omari posed.
He claimed that the holy water which was being sold at Ezekiel's church was water which had been sealed and prayed for by the Pastor
"This is water from companies like Dasani which is bought and prayed for. It has not been contaminated with anything," he stated.
The water and handkerchiefs are among the things detectives seized from the New Life Prayer Centre and Church during a raid last week on Saturday.
Ezekiel's defence team informed High Court Judge Olga Sewe, that the detectives raided his church armed with a search warrant.
The advocates told the court that the search warrant was obtained from a magistrate court in Mombasa
He stated that the raid was carried out after the Registrar of Societies issued a notice to deregister the church, citing an alleged failure to file tax returns.
"The man of God has already instructed us to file petitions to challenge the notice issued by the society to deregister his church. We have instructions from the pastor to deal with the Registrar of Societies in a different forum," said Omari.
“The question on bank accounts has already been sorted by a magistrate court in Nairobi. All the accounts belonging to the church and school were opened and the institutions are now running without any hindrance,” stated Omari
On the issue of the frequency of the television, the advocates reported that they will be seeking legal remedies from the High Court in Nairobi after they were informed that the Communications and Multimedia Appeals Tribunal was not properly constituted.
“We appeared before the tribunal as directed by this court but we were told that it lacked quorum. The tribunal has been in limbo for one year now, so that route collapsed and we shall be seeking alternative ways to deal with that predicament facing the followers of the church. That is no longer going to be a prayer before this court,” he said.
Wamboi said most of the issues in the petition had been settled after a deep conversation with the state.
However, Emmanuel Makuto for the Attorney General's office and Maureen Anyumba from the Office of the Directorate of Public Prosecutions (ODPP) respectively maintained that the church was not closed but urged that an order stopping the state from accessing the church should not be issued.
“There are still ongoing investigations and the state may need to take action depending on the outcome of the probe. Issuance of such orders will interfere with any enforcement. That is why we did not consent on that limb of the petitioner’s prayer,” said Makuto.
Justice Sewe has said the court cannot give a piecemeal relief and ordered the state to report the progress of investigations within a month.
The matter will be mentioned on July 13.