Ekeza Sacco boss David 'Gakuyo' Ngare to cool his heels in police cell

David Kariuki Ngari alias Gakuyo

Thika preacher and politician David Kariuki Ngari, alias Gakuyo. 

Photo credit: File | Nation Media Group

What you need to know:

  • Police have been allowed to detain Bishop Gakuyo of Ekeza Sacco for the weekend ahead of his charge on February 26.
  • Bishop Gakuyo is accused of swindling over 50,000 unsuspecting members of the public over Sh1 billion in a real estate fiasco five years ago.

Police have been allowed to detain Bishop Gakuyo of Ekeza Sacco for the weekend ahead of his charge on Monday, February 26 for allegedly swindling over 50,000 unsuspecting members of the public over Sh1 billion in a real estate fiasco five years ago.

Angry complainants thronged Milimani law courts to follow the proceedings and demand their dues.

Senior resident magistrate Geoffrey Onsarigo directed Bishop David Kariuki Ngari alias Gakuyo to be detained at the Muthaiga Police Station for one day pending his arraignment on February 26, 2024.

As Mr Onsarigo allowed Detective Corporal Bernard Gikandi to interrogate Bishop Ngari angry Ekeza Sacco investors sought to know their fate.

But undeterred Ms Teressia Wambui Munga stood from the public gallery then asked: “what about my fate and others who gave Bishop our money.”

Ms Munga disclosed she contributed Sh1 million towards the projects spear-headed by Bishop Ngari.

The magistrate interjected and told Ms Munga that the suspect would be returned to Muthaiga Police Station where he would be detained over the weekend awaiting further court action on Monday.

“Liase with the investigating officer (Cpl Gikandi) so that he can address your plight,” Mr Onsarigo advised the 70-year-old woman donning an Akorino attire.

Ms Munga told the court she travelled from home to attend court when she heard Bishop Ngari had been arrested and was in court.

Members of the public who attended the Sh1 billion fraud case throng a Milimani court to follow proceedings after the arrest and detention of Bishop David Kariuki Ngari alias Gakuyo of Ekeza Sacco.

Photo credit: Richard Munguti| Nation

The outburst from complainants was met with immense resistance from the Bishops lawyers Mwenda Njagi, Njiru Ndegwa and Danstan Omari who asked the magistrate to stop the complaints in open court.

Remanding the suspect, the magistrate said the matter being probed is of great public interest and “police need time to conclude investigations which are at an advanced stage.”

The magistrate declined averments from the defence that the arrest on Wednesday at the Jomo Kenyatta International Airport (JKIA) while en route to Lusaka Zambia smacked of mischief.

Mr Omari claimed, “Bishop Ngari is being detained so that he does not attend the much publicised two-day Benny Hinn crusade at the Nyayo Stadium slated for February 24/25,2024.”

However, the director of public prosecutions (DPP) exonerated police from the blame that they were being used to arrest and detain Bishop Ngari so that he would not overshadow the international preacher- Benny Hinn, due to his fame.

“The respondent (Bishop Ngari) was arrested following the hue and cry from members of the public who were allegedly fleeced billions under the guise their money will be invested in real estate,” a state prosecutor Henry Kinyanjui told magistrate Geoffrey Onsarigo at the Milimani law courts.

Mr Kinyanjui told Mr Onsarigo that police got intelligence information that the bishop was about to leave the jurisdiction of the court and then tracked him.

He said the pastor was arrested at the JKIA when he was about to exit the country.

Mr Kinyanjui stated the suspect in the Sh1 billion multi-billion investment scam had got wind that he was being sought by police over the mega financial fiasco.

Upon being arrested he was detained.

“The suspect was escaping from justice before his moves were curtailed by police at the JKIA,” Kinyanjui stated.

The magistrate heard that the arrest of the suspect was not due to religious and political reasons but “because of the mega fraud.”

The court heard investigations have been ongoing for five years and they are “at an advanced stage.”

“The DCI is investigating the suspect for offences of money laundering, obtaining through pretences and stealing,” Kinyanjui told the magistrate.

The defence lawyers pleaded with the court to admit the preacher on bond.

“The respondent (Gakuyo) will be remanded at Muthaiga police station until February 26, 2024, when he will be produced before the plea court for further directions,” ruled Mr Onsarigo.