Man charged with attempt to steal Sh880,000 'preaches' in court

Friday June 7 2019

Pastor Steven Gordon Ochieng

'Pastor' Steven Gordon Ochieng' in a Nairobi court on June 7, 2019, when he was charged with stealing a cheque leaf and attempting to obtain Sh880,000 from Equity Bank's branch in Eastleigh, Nairobi. PHOTO | PAUL WAWERU | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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A man charged with stealing a cheque book leaf worth Sh200, and attempting to use it to obtain Sh880,000 from Equity Bank, on Friday turned a Nairobi courtroom into an evangelism field.

While pressing Milimani Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku to grant him a free bond, Steve Gordon Ochieng' said, "I am a pastor ... forces of evil have ganged up to bring down and destroy my ministry completely."

Mr Ochieng' said "they won’t succeed in Jesus name" and noted that he is "under instruction from God Almighty to proclaim the gospel to all the nations".

"Every [party], including this courtroom, is called upon to turn from sin then repent and seek the face of God for their salvation," he said.

He added that he would not relent despite what the evil spirits and their master Satan were doing to interfere with his divine call.

THE CHARGES

The 'pastor' was arrested at the branch then detained for interrogation ahead of arraignment.

Mr Ochieng' is accused of stealing the cheque leaf at Runda estate in Nairobi on March 26.

The second count read that he attempted to steal Sh880,000 from the bank's branch in Eastleigh, Nairobi, on June 6.

He denied both charges.

VINDICATION

Mr Ochieng' explained to the magistrate that he was called to go to Kenya Commercial Bank by some persons, only to be asked to proceed to Equity Bank, Eastleigh.

He said he was arrested and produced in court for what was unknown to him.

Reacting to the charges filed against him by the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), the accused said, “I am a person of good character. I can’t descend to the arena of stealing a cheque leaf. I will be vindicated in due course when I produce evidence.”

Mr Ochieng' further noted that his state as a man of God meant he could not steal money.

He said he would soon parade those behind his predicament so he is exonerated.

CASH BAIL

Mr Ochieng' prayed for the magistrate to release on a free bond or a cash bail he could manage to raise.

“Release me on a free bond so I can fend for my young family and look after the large congregation of worshippers waiting for me to nourish them spiritually,” he said.

Ms Mutuku ordered him to pay a cash bail of Sh50,000 or deposit a security worth Sh100,000.

He will be tried on July 19 when he will meet his accusers.

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