VIDEO:Police now lock up Pastor James Ng’ang’a
The head of Neno Evangelism Centre in Nairobi was thrown into cells at Gigiri Police Station at 1.20pm.
Police picked him up at Serena, Nairobi, and drove him to Traffic headquarters where he was interrogated before being taken to Gigiri with escort cars in tow.
His family spent a better part of the day at Traffic headquarters negotiating for his release on bail.
Before his arrest, the preacher had on Wednesday morning asked the High Court in Nairobi to block his prosecution.
The court allowed his lawyers, Mr Cliff Ombeta and Mr Assa Nyakundi, to file the petition and serve the Director of Public Prosecutions and the the Inspector-General of police.
The three parties are expected back in court on Thursday for a hearing.
In the petition, the preacher states that he is a victim of public vilification and may not get a fair trial.
“The petitioner has been tried by the Press…he has been subjected to intense and prejudicial public comments and assessment to a degree that any intended trial will not be fair,” the lawyers told Justice Weldon Korir in a Milimani, Nairobi, court.
The media, they claimed, “falsely” linked the man of God to the accident and “put him in the driver’s seat” of the ill-fated Range Rover.
The crash, which involved the Ranger Rover linked to the preacher and a Nissan saloon car, resulted in the death of Ms Mercy Njeri on the Nairobi-Naivasha road in Limuru.
The lawyers said it was in the public domain that the police officers at the scene and witnesses present identified the driver of the Ranger Rover as “someone other than the petitioner”.
They accused Police Inspector-General Joseph Boinnet of bowing to undue pressure to change his stand on the case.
“The petitioner avers that the police in cahoots with a section of the Press subjected the petitioner to cruel, callous, insolent and impertinent exposure. He has been subjected to torture and inhuman treatment,” Mr Ombeta said.
He said police have infringed on the pastor’s rights by releasing highly prejudicial material to the media that is “wholly untrue, and whether true, in a manner that would render any trial manifestly unfair”.
In an affidavit presented in court, pastor Ng’ang’a swears that he was not in any of the accident vehicles whether as a driver or a passenger nor was he anywhere near the scene of the crash.
He also claims he has no interest in any of the motor vehicles in question.
“Initially the police and in particular the Inspector-General had issued a public statement about the accident where the driver of one of the vehicles was identified as Simon Kuria. However, due to intense pressure, they have shifted blame to the petitioner,” the lawyers said.
They claimed the police are unduly dragging the pastor’s children and spouse into the saga, thus grossly violating their rights.
“They have since impounded the vehicle the petitioner was driving on July 26 and his cell phones. This car, a Mercedes Benz, registration number KBY 093B, was not connected in any way to the accident,” the lawyers told the judge.