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Nigerian preacher denies links to family’s bizarre deaths

Controversial Nigerian Pastor T. B Joshua has defended himself from claims that he may have had something to do with the bizarre deaths of Paul Magu and his entire family.

The pastor has termed the claims as untrue and ridiculous, adding that the late Mr Magu may have gone to his church with depression and a spirit of suicide for deliverance.

“If he was delivered here, perhaps he lost his deliverance. He may have gone back to his past life,” he claimed in a statement posted on his official Facebook page titled ‘Kenyans, why me of all this hatred?’

The statement was posted the same day pastor Anne Wanyoro, the lady who was said to have had prayers with Mr Magu for four consecutive days before the deaths, was arrested.

FALSE RUMOURS

The Nigerian said Kenyans seem to have hatred against him and pointed out that the country had spread false rumours of him having prophesied that Al-Shabaab would kidnap and kill the Kenyan president.

TB Joshua is one of Nigeria’s most famous and controversial evangelical preachers, whose followers rarely refer to him by name.

Instead, members of his church call the man who claims to work miracles and predict the future “The Prophet” or “The Man of God”.

RICHEST PASTORS

Forbes magazine in 2011 named him as one of Nigeria’s five richest pastors, with an estimated net worth from SCOAN and his emmanuel.tv network of between Sh890 million ($10 million) and Sh 1.3 billion ($15 million).

Pastor Anne Wanyoro, police believe, could have crucial leads that will help resolve the mysterious death of Mr Magu, his wife Lydia and their children, Ryan, Allan and Tiffany.

She is said to have been running her church together with Mr Magu who quit his job as a lawyer four years ago.

Mr Magu’s passport, which was found in his house moments after his body was discovered along the Thika- Garrissa Highway, indicated that he had visited Nigeria on several occasions.

SHRINE

Inside the house too, a room that he used as a shrine was discovered, where relatives and the house help said he spent most of his time with Pastor Anne Wanyoro.

The room had several spiritual materials that included teachings on curses, misery and wealth. They included CDs and books.

What is believed to have been a suicide note was also fond. It stated: “I cannot live a life of ridicule and embarrassment. Let it be.”

TB Joshua, in his prophecies, claims of working miracles and “deliverances” from evil spirits that have attracted controversy.

Among his predictions are the death of pop star Michael Jackson in 2009 and the disappearance of Malaysian Airlines flight MH370, which went missing earlier this year.

His alleged miracle working includes raising the dead and curing the sick of HIV/AIDS and terminal illnesses. Last month, he is said to have claimed “anointed water” could cure Ebola.

Doctors have dismissed the claims as unscientific and provided ammunition for critics who dismiss Joshua as a dangerous fraud preying on the poor and vulnerable who are desperate for hope.