Detectives were yesterday trying to put together pieces in the jigsaw puzzle that evangelist Gilbert Deya‘s ‘miracle babies’ saga has evolved into.
And even as the preacher continued to zealously defend his bizarre claims from London, a police raid in the preacher’s residence in Mountain View Estate yesterday yielded nine infants, further throwing the miracle claim into deeper doubt.
Sources told East African Standard that investigators want to establish if it was a mere coincidence that Miriam Nyeko, a Ugandan, and Edith Unegbu, a Nigerian, both holders of British passports came to Kenya to deliver their babies. Yesterday, detectives working on this lead were of the view that owing to their privileged status, the two could conveniently be used to obtain travel documents for infants back to the UK, where Archbishop Deya of the Gilbert Deya Ministries -a registered charity in England and Wales- is currently facing alleged child trafficking charges. Unegbu has reportedly already fled the country.
Last night, as evidence of what could turn out to be an elaborate child trafficking syndicate continued to emerge, detectives were beginning to cast the drag net far and wide with reports that they would be questioning “in the near future” officers at the Registrar of Births, Immigration Department, Children’s Department, children’s homes and a number of adoption agencies in an attempt to build up a possible child trafficking case.
With this fresh evidence, a pattern also started emerging yesterday where it is apparent that babies are ‘conceived’ in the UK, then weeks after the alleged pregnancies occur, the would-be mothers conveniently claim mistreatment in the hands of British GPs or NHS doctors, use that as an excuse to travel to Nairobi, where they give birth, following pregnancies that would not be confirmed in the UK. The suspects then arrange for passports at the British High Commission – the same institution that blew the whistle on what could turn out to be a huge atrocity – and travel back with the infants.
Incensed by our daily revealing coverage of the so-called ‘miracle babies’, Deya yesterday rang to brand this writer a “servant of Satan who will remain cursed for generations to come.”
Renowned Nairobi radiologist J N Ondeko referred to the pregnancies as pseudosysis [false pregnancy] -a medical condition in which the stomach appears bloated. Common in women who have problems with childbirth, the condition mimics pregnancy in all its aspects including labour, and even contractions.
No medical evidence has been produced to prove infertility in the younger women -Unegbu and Nyeko. There has also been no evidence of conception, or even childbirth in recent times in the elderly Mrs Eddah Odera -already in advanced menopause- who together with her husband, Michael are claiming parenthood to an incredible 13 of the alleged miracle babies.
Week-long independent investigations carried out by East African Standard reveal stunning discrepancies in the Unegbu and Nyeko testimonies. While both women claim they were denied medical attention in the UK, Unegbu in particular appears to have subverted attempts to establish whether or not she was pregnant. She would not be accompanied by her husband for what appeared to be an important blood test at an antenatal clinic, and lied about her yellow eyes even when a medical report confirmed she had sickle cell and probably jaundice owing to a liver condition. Unegbu and her husband live in different addresses in the UK. She wouldn’t show us her marriage papers and didn’t say they were separated. Both women almost became delirious during an interview when I put it to them that what they came in search for in Kenya wasn’t medical intervention.
Nyeko, on the other hand, was unable to produce evidence of the five alleged miscarriages she had suffered, had no plausible reason for bringing her children all the way back to Uganda, and was unable to say how British hospitals would deny their own citizens medical care. Nyeko argued, “In the UK you don’t leave children on their own.” She wouldn’t say why she couldn’t leave the children with their father, a product designer, according to her, and an employee of a firm in Britain. Neither would she tell whom she left the children with in Uganda.
An ultrasound scan performed by North Middlesex University Hospital failed to confirm that Edith Unegbu, a British national of Nigerian extraction was pregnant. Unegbu, who is married to a John Ezedom of 8 Castleford Close, Haringey London, visited the hospital after being referred to the facility by her GP. Unegbu was patient No. NM 608855, according to records at the referral hospital. The ultrasound report faxed to us by Deya himself from his posh London address reveals that Unegbu’s uterus and ovaries were not seen, partly due to an under full bladder, and partly due to loaded loops of bowel. Comments on the report signed by a North Middlesex University Hospital doctor, also indicate that the Nigerian declined a vaginal scan after the ultrasound failed to confirm the alleged pregnancy. The report is dated November 28, 2003.
Unegbu, her eyes all yellow, denies she could be suffering from a liver condition, possibly jaundice. Last Thursday, during an interview with the East African Standard at I&M building in Nairobi, she blamed fatigue for her yellowing eyes even though the same ultrasound report, which failed to confirm the alleged pregnancy, did reveal that her liver was enlarged.
When she visited North Middlesex University Hospital, Unegbu gave the date of her last monthly period (LMP) as October 1, 2003. This put the gestational age of the alleged foetus growing inside her at eight weeks. Knowingly or otherwise Unegbu had turned up for the ultrasound scan with her bladder almost empty. Then, quite strangely, North Middlesex University Hospital staff went ahead with the ultrasound examination. Yesterday, radiologist Ondeko of Medical Imaging Services in Hurlingham, Nairobi explained that a full bladder is a requirement for ultrasound if the uterus and ovaries are to be seen. Unegbu’s uterus and ovaries, according to the university hospital’s report, were never seen. Then in a curious twist, Unegbu, who it would be presumed desperately wanted to establish she was pregnant, declined the only other procedure that could have confirmed her status -a transvaginal scan lending credence to a possible conspiracy to have the hospital find out the truth. The Deya’s are claiming medical science cannot detect the pregnancies, even though all the babies have allegedly been delivered at a clinic linked to the sect in Nairobi’s Huruma slums.
Unegbu would not return to North Middlesex University Hospital, a NHS Trust hospital, alleging insensitivity on the part of the staff to her plight and their alleged failure to find out if she was pregnant, saying in her heavy West African accent, “They just didn’t want to help me.” It remains unclear if Unegbu went to North Middlesex University Hospital to defeat the very reason she was there -rule out her a pregnancy. Then allege science’s inability to detect the so-called miracle.
Nearly three months later on March, 4, 2004, Unegbu turned up at the prestigious Queen Elizabeth Hospital in search of what she late last week, during an acrimonious interview, referred to as a “second opinion”. She was seen at the hospital’s antenatal haemoglobinopathy screening clinic alone, again contrary to standard medical practice that requires that both would-be parents be screened for the condition. The report of the blood test, which revealed that she is an active carrier of the sickle cell trait was signed by Salima Ali, the lead midwife. Unegbu went for the screening alone leaving behind her spouse, John Ezedom, who has filed a complaint with the Metropolitan Police over claims that his wife was assaulted by staff of the British High Commission in Nairobi. Interestingly, Unegbu lives on 36 Elndene Road, London SE 18, 64 B.
Archbishop Deya, however, availed no medical records for Miriam Nyeko, 40, who arrived in Nairobi via Kampala on July 15, 2004, slightly over a month ago. Like Unegbu, she also came to Nairobi to have her baby. Nyeko, who holds a British passport, says she joined Gilbert Deya Ministries in 2000, desperate to have someone help her out of an alleged recurrent miscarriage problem, for which she has no documented medical proof, but which she claims had started to threaten not just her marriage with a possible break-up, but also her physical and mental well-being. At the time she met Deya, Nyeko says she already had four children -three girls and a boy.
Then last year in March, three years after a rendezvous with the preacher, she was expecting once again.
The baby, born in a seedy clinic in sprawling Huruma on July 19, 2004, stayed in her mother’s womb for an unbelievable 16 months. In his wake, the infant, weighing 2kg at birth, left behind a rotting placenta having overstayed his welcome in the womb.
Unegbu and Nyeko have gone to great lengths trying to prove maternity. Nyeko has subjected herself to the indignity of giving birth to rolling video cameras.
On her part, Unegbu insisted that staff from British High Commission accompany her to one Mary Lucy’s clinic in Huruma to witness her giving birth. Deputy High Commissioner Ray Kyles says she had to be escorted out of the Embassy and denies anyone assaulted her.
But Unegbu insists that she was assaulted at the Embassy, before finally approaching the Kenya Red Cross to witness the birth. The Red Cross, however, denies any such involvement.
Writing to no one in particular, a Dr A R Essien of Plumstead Medical Center in the UK confirms seeing Unegbu, whom he has diagnosed with post-traumatic stress as a result of the assault.
“On the 27th of May 2004, she was beaten up in Nairobi-Kenya and dragged on the floor. Her right arm was twisted backwards and consequently she dislocated her wrist. She was pulled on the floor with extreme brutality even though she was pregnant. This act of assault is quite unacceptable by staff of British High Commission,” writes Essien, who adds that he has documented the incident in his clinic notes for future reference and litigation. Bizarrely, Dr Essien himself admits that Unegbu’s pregnancy is a mystery to the medical profession.
The irony in this whole saga is that it is science – already roundly dismissed as inconsequential by Archbishop Gilbert Deya, a self-made millionaire living on the fast lane-that will determine his case. If DNA tests prove parentage, the outcome would certainly put to rest the suspicion that the miracle babies phenomenon could in fact be an elaborate plot to conceal a large scale child trafficking syndicate. Yet, if some or all of the DNA tests return negative then detectives will have latched onto perhaps the biggest child trafficking syndicate of our time.