Kenyan preacher Gilbert Deya has finally been extradited to Kenya from the UK today (Friday 4 August) to face charges for allegedly stealing children and presenting them as “miracle babies” born due to prayer.
The scandal dates back to 2004 when it emerged Deya and his wife Mary allegedly claimed their prayers could see infertile and post-menopausal women falling pregnant in four months, even without intercourse.
Once the women were convinced they were pregnant they travelled to Kenya with Mary where they “gave birth” in back-street clinics before being given a baby. However, the infants are alleged to have been removed from their real parents with the majority reportedly taken from Nairobi’s Pumwani Maternity Hospital.
Kenyan authorities are reportedly planning to charge Deya with five counts of abducting children aged between 12 months and four-and-a-half years from 1999 to 2004.
The 65-year-old’s extradition was first ordered in 2007, but he appealed on the grounds that he might face torture in Kenya. However, in late 2008 his case was rejected by the High Court and leave to appeal to the House of Lords was refused.
Former Home Secretary Jacqui Smith originally ordered Deya’s extradition in 2008, while the then Home Secretary Theresa May did so again after further investigations in 2011. However, now all possible legal objections to his deportation have been exhausted, he has been returned to his home country.
The controversial preacher landed Jomo Kenyatta Airport at 4.40am, and according to Inspector General of Police, Joseph Boinnet, investigators “are preparing to take him to court”.
He has been remanded at Kamiti Maximum Prison until Thursday next week when Chief Magistrate Francis Andayi will determine his bail terms.
His Gilbert Deya Ministries is also being investigated by the UK Charity Commission for alleged mismanagement.
“Our statutory inquiry into Gilbert Deya Ministries is ongoing. We are currently considering the implication of Gilbert Deya’s extradition on our investigation,” the commission said in a statement.