The wife of the London-based preacher at the centre of the “miracle babies” saga was yesterday charged with stealing a baby at the notorious Pumwani Maternity hospital, Nairobi.
Mrs Mary Juma Deya was charged alongside two British nationals of Ugandan descent, Ms Mariam Nyeko and Ms Rose Kiserem. The two women are members of preacher Gilbert Deya‘s ministry.
Also charged over the saga was the couple that had claimed to be parents of 11 children, Mr Michael Odera his wife Eddah.
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Mrs Deya and the two women are accused of stealing an unnamed child, alias Naomi Deya, on or about February 5, this year, at Pumwani Maternity Hospital.
They kept the child with intentions of depriving her mother Elizabeth Njeri of her lawful custody, while they knew the baby was fraudulently taken or enticed away, the charge against them read.
The Oderas are charged with stealing Christopher Ihugo Mbugua on January 21, 2000 at Njokerio Farm, Njoro, with intentions of depriving him of the mother, Ms Lucy Wamaitha Ondieki, who had his lawful charge.
They are accused of keeping the child while they knew he was fraudulently taken or enticed away.
Both children are under the age of 14 years.
The five suspects were brought to court at 8.30am and whisked to the High Court’s basement cells. It was not until 9.23am that they were ushered into the Chief Magistrate’s court.
They had to wait for another one and a half hours before they could plead.
Deya’s wife wore a black outfit and carried a black handbag. Her husband, a multi-millionaire, has said he will not be coming to Kenya.
Last week, he pronounced a curse on President Kibaki and Attorney-General Amos Wako as he protested at his wife and others had been handled over the “miracle babies” saga.
Nyeko, who was dressed in a blue kitenge dress and dark green jacket, came to court clutching a baby covered in a green blanket. Kiserem wore a green and brown kitenge dress.
Mr Odera wore a grey suit and white shirt while his wife wore a purple kitenge dress and a light green sweater.
When the charge was read out to the couple, both appeared baffled before saying the allegations were untrue. The woman appeared worn-out while the rest of the suspects looked all right.
Mrs Deya and the other two also denied the charges, saying they were not true.
The magistrate’s court was filled to capacity as members of the public jostled to get a glimpse of the five, who have been in the limelight since the story of the “miracle babies” broke.
The Oderas attracted public attention when they invited journalists to their Komarock estate home and paraded 11 children they claimed had been conceived and born miraculously. They spoke out following reports that their preacher, Mr Deya, was being investigated in the UK in connection with child trafficking.
They defended Deya, and said their children had been conceived and born after prayers by the Deyas.
The elderly couple said they had 13 children born to them in a span of five years through prayers and without sexual intercourse. Eddah, 56, also claimed she was pregnant with another child. A pregnancy test turned negative.
Police later raided the couple’s home and took away the 11 children, who are now being cared for in a children’s home.
From Deya’s Mountain View Estate home, police seized nine children.
Detectives took DNA samples from the babies and the Oderas as they tried to establish their relationship.