Court Releases Self-Acclaimed Jesus As Police “Fail To Produce Original”

Kenyan Police earlier arrested and arraigned Eliud Wekesa, founder and leader of the New Jerusalem Church, for calling himself the Jesus of Tongaren


A Kenyan preacher who claims to be Jesus Christ and was arrested last week was released from police custody on Tuesday, 16 May, reported Kenyans.

Bungoma Principal Magistrate Tom Olando ordered the Police to release Yesu wa Tongaren, whose real name is Eliud Wekesa after the prosecution stated that findings by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) did not offer any grounds to implicate him.

The prosecution, therefore, asked Principal Magistrate Tom Olando to release him and close the case.

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Olando further ordered police not to interfere with Wekesa activities in Tongaren.

Eliud Wekesa known as Yesu wa Tongaren

Wekesa, who is the founder and leader of the New Jerusalem Church, appeared before the Bungoma Law Courts, where one of the 2022 presidential candidates, Professor George Wajackoyah, represented him.

In the hearing on Tuesday, an Office of Director of Public Prosecution (ODPP) officer informed the Court that the State had decided to close Wekesa’s file.

Wekesa briefly expressed his dissatisfaction with the arrest and arraignment, arguing that he fully complied with the investigators.

He further argued that he accompanied DCI officers to his home, where they investigated his religious doctrines. He said:

Tulienda na maafisa wa polisi kwa boma wafanye uchunguzi, na bahati nzuri ilikuwa siku ya Jumamosi ambaye huwa ni siku ya Sabato. Polisi walihesabu sadaka wakapata ni shillingi 225 na nyanya kidogo na vitunguu. (I accompanied the police to my home to aid them in the investigations. Fortunately, it was a Saturday – the Sabbath. They counted Ksh225 offering, cherry tomatoes and onions.)

Yesu wa Tongaren was being investigated for suspected cultic activities, the prosecution stated on 12 May while appearing before Bungoma Principal Magistrate.

The preacher was also facing investigations into possible activities relating to radicalisation, money laundering, and acquiring proceeds of crime.

Investigators also probed possible links to teaching radical ideologies to his followers, some of whom were minors.

Wekesa was first arrested on 10 May 2023, and he had been in police custody since then.

He welcomed the court’s ruling, with his lawyers asking the Government to stop harassing religious leaders as everyone is free to worship according to Article 32 of the constitution.

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