Three pastors of new generation churches on Sunday in the Federal Capital Territory denied their ministries and members in order to evade arrest by the Ministerial Enforcement Team .
The pastors are Ibitoye Kayode of the Liberty Faith Gospel Church , Joshua Olaniru of Liberty Gate Ministry and Vitalis Udeazi of Dominion Chapel , all in Lugbe a satellite town along the airport road .
The clerics were arraigned before the Mobile court presided by Magistrate Idayat Akonni and fined them N 5 , 000 each in addition to three hours community service.
Earlier , while acting on a tip -off , the enforcement team had stormed the mountain top in Sabon – Lugbe where they arrested the three pastors for violating the ban on congregational worship in the nation ’ s capital .
Upon sighting the team , the pastors mingled with the congregation.
After a brief interrogation , the three pastors were identified from the crowd although Udeazi struggled to conceal his identity .
He said none of his members was present at the time the taskforce arrived the mountain top .
This did not go down well with other pastors who protested vehemently that he was one of them .
The matter came to a standstill until some members in the crowd identified him as their pastor.
Olaniru was also exposed by a resident of the community who tendered a video clip to the taskforce where the cleric was holding a worship session .
Speaking to the pastors , the Chairman of the taskforce , Ikharo Attah , queried the pastors for denying their members .
“ Why are you all denying these large groups of worshippers?
No one among you agreed that anyone came to worship with them even when they turned out in large numbers .
One of you even went ahead to deny being a pastor, ” he said .
Another pastor, Effiong Bassey of the Holiness Revival Ministry Church in Karamajiji, was also arrested for holding a church service to mark the 60th birthday of a retired military colonel , P. E. Ebong , who left the military in 2015 .
Addressing the pastor, Attah said , “ You cannot hold a worship service in defiance of the directives of the Commander – in- Chief just to mark the 60 th birthday of a retired colonel .
The clerics were consequently arraigned before a Mobile Court presided over by Magistrate Akonni who found them guilty and fined them N 5 , 000 each in addition to three hours of community service.
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