Gilbert Deya to be Extradited over “Miracle Babies”

The Nairobi Nation reports:

Bishop Gilbert Deya is to be returned to Kenya to face trial for claims that he was involved in baby-trafficking, a London court has ruled.

…During the hearing which began on Wednesday, the Kenya Government alleged that Mr Deya stole five children between May 1999 and December 2004 and tried to pass them off as his own.

He is accused also of conspiracy to murder a police officer in Kenya.

However, his lawyer, Mr Ben Cooper, said his client is a victim of a political vendetta by the Kenya government because of his criticism of it.

Deya claims that his 57-year-old wife – and a number of female congregants – had given birth to “miracle babies”, conceived through prayer and brought to term after a few weeks. Interestingly, women who sought such pregnancies were obliged to travel to Deya’s clinic in an impoverished district of Nairobi, where they were anesthetised before being presented with a baby. The fact that the babies’ DNA did not match the parents was put down to the “miracle”. Deya’s wife Mary was jailed in May, as I blogged at the time.

Mary Deya had attempted to prove the miracles with a dramatic hospital visit:

…His wife arrived at a hospital in Nairobi on Saturday, carrying a new-born baby, a handful of blood-stained clothes and a placenta.

However, doctors said they did not believe she had given birth. James Kiarie, head of obstetrics and gynaecology at Kenyatta National Hospital, said: “I have conducted a thorough check of the birth canal and there are no signs of pregnancy or after-birth.”

Gilbert claimed the police had intimidated the doctors, and uttered a curse against Kenya:

“The hand of the wrath of God of Israel is upon you. You are so merciless to the infant mothers. You have snatched them on the street of Nairobi, you have brought a curse upon the nation.” warned Deya…”Your wicked, demonic police, who might have been trained by the devil from hell are attempting to rape the holy Woman of God. Your unfaithful government have taken their evil hand, laid it upon my family and disgraced me and my children, Oh Kenya! You are doomed, you are cursed,”

The scam continues to have tragic consequences in the UK. The Guardian reported on one case in September 2005:

An infertile couple who claim to have given birth to a “miracle” baby are to go to court in an attempt to win back custody of the child from social services.

The couple, who cannot be named, are going to the high court to oppose the baby being put up for adoption. The authority, Haringey council in north London, will resist the application.

…The legal battle over the fate of Baby C has already cost more than £1m. He has had six care placements in less than two years, and two adoption attempts have fallen through because attempts to clarify his status have taken so long.

…The 38-year-old woman told the high court that Baby C was the second of three “miracle” babies born to her after prayers, and she was pregnant with him for just 27 days. She said the first of her babies died soon after birth in Kenya and the third was taken by Kenyan authorities.

However, all may not be lost for Deya: Kenya is currently preparing for an election, and opposition party ODM-Kenya stands a reasonable chance of winning. According to a report from the African Press in March, Deya

…revealed that there is a deal that has been struck between him and the ODM-Kenya leadership…Deya says he has been offered to become Kenya’s High Commissioner to London if ODM-Kenya takes over power in Kenya after the coming elections.

…The man does not lack surprises to tell the Kenyans. When asked about the child trafficking case in Kenya and how he could be given such a high position when Kenya wants to prosecute him, Deya says that the new government of ODM-K has entered into a memorandum of understanding with Deya Ministries that the charges will be dropped if ODM-Kenya takes over, thereafter, his appointment will be made public on the 25th of February 2008.

I gave a fuller account of Deya’s background – including his production of videos with titles like Jesus Healed a Woman with Three Breastshere.

2007 has been a bad year for African evangelists: numerous scandals have been reported, ranging from male rape through to the use of an electric shock machine to impersonate the Holy Spirit.