DANGEROUS: The self-styled bishop
A SELF-STYLED bishop who claimed to have the power to grant “miracle babies” to infertile couples will be extradited to Kenya to face child abduction charges following a four-year court battle.
Evangelical preacher Gilbert Deya, 59, has been fighting plans for his deportation since 2007 on the grounds that a return to his home country breaches his human rights.
The religious guru who claims to have a following of over 34,000 thanks to his network of churches across London said he feared he would be tortured.
But Home Secretary Theresa May denied his pleas and he will be handed over to the Kenyan Government over allegations that he was part of a child-smuggling ring that led to five children being brought to the UK between 1999 and 2004.
The babies were “delivered” in backstreet clinic in Nairobi then given to families in the UK as gifts from God – but gifts you had to pay for.
“The miracle babies which are happening in our ministry are beyond human imagination”, Deya told the BBC in 2004 in one of his rare press interviews.
“It is not something I can explain because they are of God, and the things of God cannot be explained by a human being.”
Deya’s High Court appeal to avoid being extradited failed and he was refused permission to take the case to the House of Lords. His wife, Mary, has already been jailed in Kenya for child abduction.
Throughout his legal battles, Deya has remained in the UK running his churches and charity, Gilbert Deya Ministries, which broadcasts across Africa and Europe on his satellite TV channel, Deya Broadcasting Network. He was arrested in 2006, but released without charge.
It is estimated the charity has made millions of pounds in voluntary donations and tithe offerings from his faithful following.
He has also penned over 50 self-help books with titles such as Devil born in Human Bodies and How Witches Fly, Protection from Witchcraft Charms and To Be Wealthy in Tons of Pure Gold and Plenty of Cash.
In 2010, Channel 4’s Dispatches programme uncovered how his churches were charging money to perform “deliverance” services on children suspected to be witches.
Critics have also accused him of exploiting God-fearing people who rely heavily on pastors to explain why bad things happen in their lives such as unemployment or immigration troubles.
GUILTY: Paul Deya with the family he decimated two years ago
In his last appearance on his YouTube channel, Deya can be heard complaining to his congregation about missing his wife and children, but vowed that “no one is taking me to Kenya like luggage”.
He added: “My age is terrifying me now. I don’t like to be British anyway. People in Britain they are suffering in old age. This is a country where it’s the worst to die. Your children will leave you with a carer and push chemicals into your mouth. Who knows what will happen or where I’ll go, maybe Ghana or Nigeria or something.”
Tottenham MP David Lammy welcomed the decision. He has been campaigning for Deya’s removal after a husband and wife in his north London constituency were duped by preacher.
Lammy said: “Gilbert Deya is a modern day snake oil salesman who has conned and betrayed his vulnerable congregation. He is a very dangerous man who should have been removed from this country a long time ago.
“He preyed on innocent families who desperately wanted children, while trafficking and smuggling Kenyan babies into the UK. He should face the heavy hand of justice for his abhorrent behaviour.”
In a biography of his life, Deya claims he was born on February 2, 1952, in a small hut in the same village as US President Barack Obama’s father. He also wrote that he was born without testicles but was healed by God’s word.
Bishop Dr Joe Aldred, secretary of the Minority Ethnic Christian Affairs, Churches Together in England told The Voice: “Gilbert Deya is to be sent to Kenya to have his day in court and I wait to hear what the outcome will be. What I would like to say is that every minister who is privileged enough to be ministering to people, many of whom are in vulnerable situations, has a responsibility to uphold the standards one expects of a church leader.”
Earlier this year, his nephew, Paul Deya, was jailed for a minimum of 20 years after murdering his own son and trying to kill his wife in 2009.