, NAIROBI, Kenya, Aug 20 – Pastor James Ng’ang’a was spending another night in police custody Thursday, pending a ruling whether to grant him and three of his co-accused bail.
The four of them applied for release after facing charges over a road accident last month in which Mercy Njeri was killed.
The State however opposed the application, saying they all previously allegedly conspired to defeat justice.
“The court will rule on the said application whether to grant the accused persons bond tomorrow (Friday) at 11am. In the meantime, the accused persons will remain in custody; the accused should be remanded at the Gigiri Police Station,” Limuru Senior Resident Magistrate Timothy ole Tanchu ruled.
State Counsel Aloice Okemo argued that if granted bail, the four were likely to interfere with witnesses and subvert justice, in addition to being flight risks.
“Pastor Ng’ang’a is a very influential person and even the fact this courtroom is filled to capacity is evidence of this. This also goes a long way to show that should he be granted bail, this would have a negative influence on the witnesses and they would not be prone to cooperate with the investigations,” he said.
Lawyer Assa Nyakundi however stated that there was no proof that pastor Ng’ang’a and his co-accuse would interfere with witnesses and says that the evangelist had cooperated with the police so far.
“My client has nowhere to run to. He has cooperated so far and done what has been required of him and to say that he would be a flight risk is far from true. He has property here which shows that he is here to stay and even the case itself is a simple one which we plan to prove during the hearing,” he stated.
Pastor Ng’ang’a is accused of causing death through dangerous driving, giving false information to the police, conspiring to defeat justice and failing to report an accident.
Also charged were Simon Kuria who denied giving false information to the police and Inspector Christopher Nzioka who rebutted claims he neglected his duties.
Another officer, Patrick Baya also denied charges of neglecting his duties.
Pastor Ng’ang’a was arrested on Wednesday and spent the night at Gigiri police station after being denied bond.
Pastor Ng’ang’a has on several occasions denied involvement in the accident that killed Njeri on Sunday, July 26, and left her husband injured.
In the meantime, the father in-law of Njeri has welcomed the interest the case has generated from the public, saying this will ensure justice is served.