February 22, 2010 – Jazz Maestro Joseph Hellon and five others were arraigned in a Nairobi Court on Monday afternoon charged with being members of unlawful society.
Former TV news anchor Esther Arunga was not one of them, but her boyfriend Quincy Zuma Timberlake was among the five charged alongside Hellon.
Others were Samuel Onyango, Fredrick Onyango, Vincent Onyango, Grace Njii and Veronica Agape Koteng’o.
The Finger of God church faithful were accused of being members of an unlawful church on February 20.
Through lawyer Haroun Ndubi, the accused opposed the taking of plea saying the charge does not disclose any offence.
“The charge as framed does not disclose any offence. It is illegal and I urge the court not to admit it,” he said.
The advocate told Chief Magistrate Gilbert Mutembei that his clients have not committed any crime for the church to be declared illegal.
“There is nothing wrong they have done for the church to be considered unlawful,” he argued.
Ndubi further explained that the church was registered back in 2002 and added that they have a right to worship and associate.
He claimed that the investigation officer has continued to keep the registration certificate “in order to deny accused persons justice”.
But the prosecution asked Mutembei to disregard the objections and admit the charge saying it discloses an offence.
The accused were remanded in custody until this morning when Mutembei will decide whether to dismiss or admit the charge against them.
If found guilty, the court heard, the accused will serve a one-year jail term or pay a fine of Sh5 million.
The accused were arrested on Saturday night over their alleged involvement in a religious organization said to be a cult.