Trial Of Abuja Pastor Arrested For Wielding Gun In Church, Stalled
A Magistrate’s Court in Abuja, on Tuesday, adjourned the trial of a Pastor of the House on the Rock Refuge Church, Uche Aigbe, due to the absence of his defence counsel in Court.
The Police arraigned the Pastor along with two others, identified as Promise Ukachukwu and Olakunle Ogunleye, before Magistrate Abdulaziz Ismail of Zuba Magistrates’ Court on charges bordering on criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of a prohibited firearm, inciting disturbance, and criminal intimidation.
The defendants pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The Police alleged that the defendants, all of House on the Rock, the Refuge Abuja, conspired with an illegal possession of an AK47 rifle on February 12, 2023.
The prosecution counsel, ACP James Idachaba, had informed the Court that the defendants got the firearm from Inspector Musa Audu, attached to Wuye Division, posted on guard duty at the Church.
He added that the defendants used the firearm for an illustration while preaching a sermon about faith in the Church.
The prosecution counsel said the defendants made inciting and intimidating statements to the church congregation that could cause alarm and breach of peace.
He said the offence is punishable under Section III of the Firearms Act CAP F28, LFN 2004 and contravened Sections 97, 114 and 397 of the Penal Code.
Meanwhile, the Magistrate adjourned the case till May 2, 2023, for hearing, noting that the adjournment was at the instance of the absent defence counsel who cited a matter he had at the election tribunal.
It would be recalled that the Federal Capital Territory (FCT) Police Command arrested Mr. Aigbe in February after a video clip of him carrying a gun during a Sunday church service went viral on social media platforms.