SELF-STYLED archbishop Gilbert Deya yesterday claimed that a woman whose fallopian tubes had been removed was on the brink of giving birth to what he described as a “miracle baby” conceived through the power of prayer.
With him at a press conference in Glasgow was Deon Dawkins-Scott, who nervously lifted her top to display a stomach that suggested she was in the final stages of pregnancy.
The 34-year-old Jamaican-born woman freely admits that her fallopian tubes were removed some years ago. She also agrees that a series of ultra scans have shown no sign of a foetus growing in her womb.
Despite this apparently incontrovertible evidence, Ms Dawkins-Scott firmly believes she will bear a child within the next few weeks. It is, she says, a gift from God.
Aamer Anwar, the Glasgow-based human rights solicitor who represents Archbishop Deya, is understood to have advised the Kenyan preacher – a controversial figure who has been called both charlatan and miracle-maker – against holding a press conference. Before the proceedings began, the lawyer read out what appeared to be a disclaimer.
“It is not the job of Beltrami Berlow Solicitors to defend or deny the claims of miracle babies or allegations of child trafficking. That is a matter for the Kenyan authorities to decide and investigate. Our sole concern is dealing with the issue of extradition,” it read.
“Miracle babies” and “child trafficking” are phrases seldom absent when Gilbert Deya’s name is mentioned. He boasts about the first and fiercely rejects allegations of the second.
The police in Kenya are anxious to extradite the 52-year-old pastor in connection with an alleged child-smuggling ring. He claims to have helped infertile women to conceive babies through prayer.
In a series of raids, the Kenyan authorities have taken about 20 children into care. DNA tests have shown that none of the children is biologically related to the women who claim to be their natural mothers. At the same time, 20 couples in the African country have come forward to report that their babies were abducted at birth from hospital.
Archbishop Deya, who strenuously denies involvement, is the head of an evangelical church based in London which is under investigation by the Charities Commission. Its assets have been frozen.
The preacher has temporarily removed himself to Scotland where, with the help of Mr Anwar, he is fighting extradition. His defence is that he will face religious and political persecution in his native land and, consequently, will not receive a fair trial. A claim for political asylum in Scotland is currently under consideration.
In a rambling statement yesterday, Archbishop Deya declared: “I have been judged by the media as a child trafficker, which is a slave trade. Miracles have happened. God has used me and God cannot use a criminal.”
He said that he had helped two women in the UK to give birth – one of whom had three children in less than 12 months.
The child-trafficking charges did not make sense, he argued. They were “useless allegations”. The Kenyan authorities were jealous of his success. His ageing mother had disappeared. He suspects that she has been murdered. His wife, Mary, was thrown in jail in Kenya for 15 days.
Deya, flanked by a number of female members of his congregation, added: “I facilitate miracle babies through the power of Jesus Christ, the son of God. I do not know how – it is a miracle.
“He acts through me. I have midwives examine these women and they are pregnant. DNA does not prove anything because it is Jesus Christ who has created these babies, not science.”
Though doctors have told Ms Dawkins-Scott, who now lives in London, that she is experiencing a phantom pregnancy, she claims that she is a full nine months into a real pregnancy and expects to give birth soon.
She said: “I am pregnant. The tests say I am not, but I can feel the contractions and the baby kicking inside me. I had six miscarriages, and had to have both my fallopian tubes removed.
“I went to see Archbishop Deya and he said to me in the name of Jesus, and touched me, then he said go, you are pregnant. In five days’ time my abdomen started growing and I knew I was pregnant.”