Police raided the Nairobi Mountain View residence of Archbishop Gilbert Deya at dawn yesterday, arrested his wife and took away nine children to the Nairobi Children’s Home.
The officers from the Criminal Investigations Department (CID), also arrested a Ugandan, Miriam Nyieko, who claims to have given birth at Huruma’s Mama Lucy Clinic last month.
They also arrested the Rev Rose Siele, a minister of the Deya Ministries, but she said the officers were harassing them for nothing. She added that God would curse Kenyans for exposing the “miracle babies” in a negative way.
However, a Nigerian woman, Edith Ezedom, escaped arrest. She is said to have left for London on Thursday night but left behind her alleged two month-old baby at Deya’s house.
Police said they sought to find out whether eight of the children are so-called miracle babies as claimed by the London-based church minister facing child trafficking charges in the UK.
Deya’s wife could only tell the police that the eight were her children and that some of them were miracle babies. Thereafter she maintained a stony silence and refused to answer their questions regarding the children.
When the officers demanded her passport she at first told them that she had deposited it with a bank, but when they threatened to ransack her entire house, she reached into a drawer and gave it to them.
Archbishop Gilbert Deya’s house at Mountain View Estate
Ms Miriam Nyieko, a Ugandan, carries a baby to a waiting Police vehicle.
Nyieko, who claims not to have applied for a passport for her baby, is said to have flown to London on Thursday night to attend a court case against Deya on the “miracle babies”.
The four-bedroom house number 226 is surrounded by a perimeter wall and has a well-kept kitchen garden with bananas and kales.
Near the gate, there was a 20-foot container, suspected to have been used to ship clothes for the children into the country.
Outside the two-bedroom servant’s quarters, there were more than five bicycles used by the children and toys were scattered all over the compound.
At the house, two babies – one aged below six months – who were sleeping on cream leather sofa seats, were wrapped in warm expensive fur blankets.
The older children watched in disbelief as an elderly woman, identified as Helen Siele, who claims to have been healed by Deya, paraded them in the well-furnished sitting room for their pictures to be taken.
CID head of forensic science, Dr John Maina, took blood samples for DNA tests from the babies, to be matched with that of Deya’s wife who claims to be their real mother.
The children, who were taken to Nairobi Children’s Home, were Daniel Deya, Martima Akelo, Miriam, Ruth, Joshua, David, Sarah and the Nigerian’s baby. The Ugandan woman carried her baby with her after she was arrested.
A twin brother to Miriam, born in June 2002, is said to have died. Another two-year-old baby identified as Moses is said to have accompanied Deya last June to London after he visited Kenya.
The raid brings the total number of “miracle babies” delivered as a result of prayers to 24. Three of them are said to have died.
Eleven of the children belonging to Michael Odera and his wife Eddah were found in Nairobi’s Komarock estate on Tuesday and taken to Nairobi Children’s Home.
During the raid at Deya’s home yesterday, the eldest child, Daniel a Standard Six pupil at Peace Junior Academy, spoke fluently in four languages (Latin, Spanish, French and German). He asked the officers to leave them alone.
Daniel, 13, told the East African Standard that his parents had failed to take him abroad for the August holidays because of the saga of the “miracle babies”.
“I could be in Britain or anywhere in Europe now but all these problems have caused me to stay around. I have to leave Kenya to go and study abroad because of the psychological torture I will face in this country if I decide to stay,” he said amid sobs.
Daniel begged the officers to take him back to Mountain View, saying he cannot stay at the children’s home in lower Kabete.
The boy, dressed in a red sweatshirt, blue jeans trousers and white sports shoes, shed tears uncontrollably saying he was Deya’s son.
Inside the house, detectives ransacked the four bedrooms for the children’s documents and stumbled on a file containing birth certificates of all the Deya children.
According to the documents, his other children Amos, Dan, Rebecca, Jane and Paul, are in Britain and Deborrah, who is married, stays in Nairobi’s Kangemi area.
Some of the documents bearing the names of eight children belonging to Deya found in the house yesterday indicate they were born at Mama Lucy clinic in Huruma.
Deya’s wife, who was wearing gold earrings and bangles, was dressed in a blue expensive suit and declined to speak to the Press.
She is said to have given the police two filled up passports and a third one, which has only a few leaves left.
Neighbours interviewed said the Deya children were not allowed to play outside the compound with the others.
Meanwhile, Dr Gilbert Danson Njoroge who was alleged to own the clinics where “miracles babies” were born yesterday distanced himself from the facilities.
Njoroge said he did not know the physical addresses of the said clinics or the owner of the premises.
In a signed statement, he said he has been operating from Kenda House in Nairobi since 1996 under his own name.
“I am totally unaware of the operations of the said clinics and I am perplexed by the attempts to malign my name by inferring any relationship,” he said.
He said he had instructed his lawyers to follow up the matter.