The London Metropolitan Police have launched a fresh inquiry into fraud and deception claims involving Kenyan-born evangelist, Gilbert Deya.
Speaking to the Sunday Nation, a police spokesman said: “There are some investigations going on and these are at an early stage. I cannot say much.”
The new inquiries came as it emerged that Mr Deya’s application for political asylum in the United Kingdom had been rejected. His solicitors in Scotland are now planning to appeal against the decision to deny him asylum in the UK.
At the same time, the Sunday Nation learnt that an estimated 10 pastors from the Gilbert Deya Ministries embroiled in the “Miracle Babies” saga have resigned.
Mr Deya, who is wanted for questioning in Kenya for alleged child trafficking, had applied for political asylum in the UK in a bid to fight extradition. Mr Deya has denied the allegations against him through Glasgow-based human rights lawyer Aamer Anwar, who has also been instructed to fight the extradition attempt.
The Charity Commission for England and Wales launched an inquiry last year into the Gilbert Deya Ministries, which is a registered charity. The Charity Commission is an organisation established by law in Britain as the regulator and registrar for charities in England and Wales.
The commission also froze the Deya charity’s bank accounts, following press allegations last year about Mr Deya’s activities.
The Gilbert Deya Ministries trustees were told not to spend any of its funds without the commission’s permission.
The Gilbert Deya Ministries runs churches in south London, Birmingham, Nottingham, Liverpool and Manchester and in the year 2002 had an income of nearly ?885,000.
The timing of the resignations of the pastors from the Gilbert Deya Ministries has dealt a serious blow to Mr Deya.
Ugandan-born Daniel Kavuma, who was the pastor at the Liverpool branch of the church, confirmed yesterday that he had resigned on principle after a disagreement on policy matters with Mr Deya.
“Yes, I tendered my resignation from the church some time back after I found out that I could not continue serving God from the church. It was a personal decision and others have followed suit. Pastors in Manchester, Liverpool, Reading, Leicester, Nottingham, Leeds and others across the country have resigned,” said Mr Kavuma.
Meanwhile, the Charity Commission’s inquiry has been examining whether there was any misapplication of charitable funds and the damage to reputation arising from the baby-trafficking allegations.
When they launched their probe the Charity Commissioners said the Gilbert Deya Ministries trustees had not given proper consideration to the allegations and the threat they posed to the charity’s reputation.
A Charity Commission spokeswoman told the Sunday Nation: “I can confirm that these are the investigations that we are carrying out and some have been passed on to the police.”
Among the claims being investigated are the use of the “miracle babies” as a fund-raising project, an idea that the Charity Commission has been investigating since September 2004.