Controversial pastor James Ng’ang’a of Neno Evangelism Church has eventually been charged with defrauding a businessman Sh3.6million at his church office three years ago.
Mr Ng’ang’a was arraigned before Milimani Law Courts Senior Principal Magistrate Martha Mutuku after losing his bid to stop his prosecution at the High Court.
The preacher denied obtaining money from Mr Wickson Njoroge Mwathe pretending that he was in a position to lease him a residential house at the upmarket Karen Estate in Nairobi.
The prosecution said the pastor committed the offence on April 6, 2016 at his office on Haile Selassie Avenue, Nairobi.
Defence lawyer Charles Ongoto applied for the release of the city preacher on bond.
“The accused is an apostle. He is a public figure who cannot fail to turn up in court during his trial,” Mr Ongoto said.
The lawyer urged the court to grant him a free bond or direct that he deposits a Sh100,000 cash bail as earlier granted by police.
The preacher was arrested on April 3, 2019, and detained at the Central Police Station, Nairobi, where he was interrogated before being freed on a police cash bail with instructions he surrenders to court on Tuesday.
After entering a not guilty plea, the magistrate freed him on a cash bail of Sh500,000 or Sh1million bond with surety of same amount.
The set May 16, 2019 for hearing of the case.
Before being charged, Mr Ng’ang’a had filed a petition before Justice James Makau seeking to restrain the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) from commencing the criminal case against him.
In his petition, the preacher urged the DPP, the Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) and Inspector-General of Police (IG) not to prosecute him since the nature of the Sh3.6 million transaction was a commercial transaction and did not warrant criminal sanction.
Justice Makau dismissed the preacher's application, ruling that he did not present any evidence to show his rights would be prejudiced once a criminal case is filed against him.