13 'Miracle Babies' Seized By Police

Detectives yesterday swooped on the home of the 56-year-old woman who said she had given birth to "miracle babies" - and took away all 13 children and the couple at the centre of the bizarre claims.

The children were taken into protective custody - understood to be a number of different children's homes in Nairobi - and the couple, Mr Michael Odera and his wife Eddah, were held in custody overnight.

Subscribe to AllAfrica

Police confirmed the children will be held until the results of DNA tests to determine their parentage are known.

"The results of the DNA will be out within five days or so. I do not expect that there will be room for any miracles in the results,' commented police forensic science head John Maina.

Added CID spokesman Gideon Kibunja: "At this time we cannot disclose where the children are being kept. All we can say is that it is safe place and definitely not a police cell."

Mr Odera, his wife, two nannies and all the children were earlier taken by bus to Nairobi police headquarters amid tight security.

Mrs Odera, who is past her menopause, claims to have given birth to the 13 children in five years, without sexual contact with her husband.

As the couple and the children arrived at the police station, a man claiming to be sect leader Archbishop Deya told the Nation on a mobile phone: "The simple fact is that these are miracle children born through the power of prayer".

Mr Deya, who as Pastor Deya used to have an hour-long programme on KBC, added: "Those who don't believe are like those who did not believe Jesus Christ had performed the miracle of healing, including those who were blind."

However, the Kenya Medical Association (KMA) asked the Government to investigate the claims, urging them to carry out the DNA tests.

"There is no truth in the report as it is contrary to proven scientific laws," said Dr Rahman Khan, the association's chairman.

Mr Odera continued to insist that all 13 children were born through faith.

He said yesterday the couple have three other children, aged between 31 and 36, who were born normally.

He continued: "A year after we stopped having sex, my wife started getting children on her own after prayers by Mrs Alice Deya."

According to Mr Odera, who said he was a Christian Scientist, all 13 children were born between 1999 and 2004, mainly at the Mama Lucy clinic and maternity home, owned by a Dr Danson Njoroge, in the densely populated Huruma slums of Nairobi.

A midwife at the clinic, Mr Daniel Ochieng, asked journalists to give him until Friday to trace the medical records of some of the 13 children Mrs Odera claims were born to her.

Mr Ochieng, who initially was hesitant to answer questions from journalists, on Monday described as "extremely perplexing" the births to Mrs Odera, who is past her menopause.

According to Mr Ochieng, she last gave birth to a girl at the clinic on June 4, this year.

He was however unable to produce any medical records for the baby and her brothers and sisters.

Mr Ochieng said he was unable to find any records at the clinic to prove Mrs Odera had delivered the children.

Mrs Odera has insisted that she delivered her last born, Sara Amolo, on June 4, this year. She now claims to be pregnant, less than two months later.

But the clinic's records for June which list women admitted for delivery do not include her name.

The Medical Practitioners and Dentists Board which regulates clinics in Kenya was reported to have been seeking the registration documents for the clinic and was expected to confirm later today whether Dr Njoroge was himself registered to practice.

Yesterday's raid by the police at Mrs Odera's two-bedroom house at Mukeu Court in Komarock 3A, at 10.30am, caught her and her children by surprise.

Mrs Odera and two women employed by the Deya Ministries to help the couple look after the children were found at home cleaning up after breakfast and starting preparations for the next meal.

The children were either playing outside in the porch or on the floor of the living rooms.

Two unmarked police vehicles with nine people - three uniformed policemen, CID officers and others from the Children's Department - pulled up, and the uniformed policemen remained in the mini-bus while the other six people went into the house where they introduced themselves and asked Mrs Odera and the two nannies to accompany them with the children.

Mrs Odera did not protest and while going to the bus, her husband arrived and joined them.