Tuesday, 23 April 2019

Members protest church demolition, ‘assault’ on pastor

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Members of Living Faith Church in Gwagwalada, Abuja, the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), have protested what they called the unlawful demolition of their church by officials of the Department of Development Control of the Federal Capital Development Authority (DDC-FCDA).
The church members said beside the demolition of the church on Specialist Hospital Road, the Resident Senior Pastor, Caleb Olubiyi, was also assaulted by some policemen attached to the DDC-FCDA.
The chairman of the church’s board, Elder Samuel Olaleye, who addressed reporters in company of placard-carrying members, recalled that though the structure had, for two years, been marked for demolition, the officials gave no prior notice before they pulled it down last week Wednesday.
Olaleye described the demolition and assault on the pastor as “barbaric, horrific, illegal and disheartening”.

Members protest church demolition, ‘assault’ on pastor
The chairman said the property title and other verifiable documents, which show that the land belongs to Living Faith, are in the custody of the church.
He wondered why the DDA-FCDA embarked on what he called “a wicked and malicious act without recourse to due process”.
Olaleye said Olubiyi had been on admission in an undisclosed hospital since last Wednesday to treat the injuries he allegedly sustained from the police.
The church’s Legal Adviser, Olorunmotito George, gave details of what led to the alleged assault on the pastor.
The lawyer averred that beating up the cleric was uncalled for and highly condemnable.
He said witnesses and information from the injured pastor showed that the police beat him up when he attempted to take shots of the bulldozers during the demolition.
George added: “The pastor, on hearing the news of the demolition, quickly raced to the scene. He was even on the other side of the road.
“So, when he brought out his phone to take photographs of the demolition, the policemen sighted him and rushed towards him.
“The policemen enquired why he was taking pictures and he told them he wanted to send them to our General Overseer, Bishop David Oyedepo.
“My brother, that was all. The next thing, according to Pastor Olubiyi, was beating.”
The lawyer wondered why officials of the DDC-FCDA demolished the church when some other buildings erected on the same line were not touched by officials of the DDC-FCDA/Fed Ministry of Works, Power and Housing.
On what the church would do next, George said it had lodged a complaint with the Police Service Commission (PSC), alleging criminal victimisation of its pastor by the policemen attached to the demolition team.
The protesting church members identified the three police officers, who they claimed assaulted Pastor Olubiyi, as J. C. Audu, Mathias Agbo, an Assistant Superintendent of (ASP) and Urento Monday.
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Author: verified_user

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