Activities of the controversial Finger of God church are under investigation as police question some of its members including former TV presenter Esther Arunga.
She was on Sunday arrested alongside the church’s head pastor Joseph Hellon and eight other followers in a night raid at his home in Nairobi’s Runda estate.
They were questioned at the Criminal Investigations Department (CID) headquarters after spending the night at separate police stations.
Ms Arunga was held at the Muthaiga station with four others including two secondary school students. The others were held at the Gigiri police station.
They were arrested on allegations of belonging to an illegal group, but their lawyer Harun Ndubi said the church is registered. Police spokesman Eric Kiraithe said detectives were investigating “serious allegations.”
Investigations began after a former member of the church, Wilson Malaba, reported at the Kilimani police station claiming he had received text messages alleging he had killed Hellon’s child and planned to kill Esther. Hellon was charged at Kibera law courts and was released on a cash bail of Sh 20,000.
Kasarani police commander Leonard Omolo on Sunday told journalists they would be released after investigations cleared them. “Their statements will be recorded at the CID headquarters and if no criminal offence is established then they will be set free,” he said.
Ms Arunga’s parents turned up at the Muthaiga station but declined to speak to journalists.
The saga surrounding the church has recently been in the news and Ms Arunga held a press conference last Thursday to set the record straight. She revealed having quit her job with KTN, called off her planned wedding to Mr Malaba and was now living in the church mansion with Mr Helon and his wife Kuyu and other followers.
She also denied that she had shut her family and friends out of her life, although her parents and siblings expressed concern over her well-being. At the press conference, Mr Hellon also revealed that police had visited the residence to investigate claims that he was a drug dealer and a pimp running a cult.
In a separate conversation with the Nation, Mr Malaba claimed that the wedding was called off after Ms Arunga was told by church officials that a famous American evangelist had identified somebody else for her.