AK-47-bearing pastor arrested, policeman faces probe, church apologises - 9japarrot


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Monday 13 February 2023

AK-47-bearing pastor arrested, policeman faces probe, church apologises


By Nurat Uthman

The Federal Capital Territory Police Command has confirmed the arrest of the presiding pastor, House on the Rock, Abuja Chapter, Uche Aigbe, for wielding an AK47 rifle while addressing the congregation.

The command also confirmed the arrest of the church’s Chief Security Officer and Inspector Musa Audu, for releasing his gun to Aigbe.

The FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh, confirmed the development in a statement on Monday.

Adeh said, “The FCT Police Command on the heels of intelligence arrested one pastor, Uche Aigbe, of House on the Rock cathedral, Abuja, and two others.

“The pastor, whose message and demonstrations were tagged inciting by various media and social media users, was arrested in the early hours of Monday, February 13, 2023, alongside the church’s Chief Security Officer and one Inspector Musa Audu, who was on duty on the said day and had unprofessionally released his rifle to the said pastor without permission or recourse to police authority.

“While the discrete investigation has commenced, members of the public are urged to shun actions or utterances that are in breach of extant laws as the law is trite and all violators will be adequately sanctioned.”

PUNCH Metro gathered that Aigbe caused a stir when he mounted the pulpit with an AK47 rifle and addressed the congregation saying that he was ready for the people looking for his trouble.

“Today, there are some pastors with the gift of divination, who go about ripping people. This is why we should carry our guns and defend ourselves. I will particularly be coming for some of you sleeping in the church,” he said.

Aigbe’s remark made the entire congregation laugh as he urged them to guard their heart against false teachers.

The pastor’s action was captured in a video clip that was released online and it attracted mixed reactions from Nigerians.

However, following a report of the incident by The PUNCH on Sunday, police sources, who spoke to our correspondent on Monday, said policemen swung into action immediately.

One of the sources said, “We got the report around 10.50 pm on Sunday on PUNCH Newspaper’s online publication that Pastor Uche Aigbe of House on the Rock Church mounted the pulpit with an AK47 rifle.

“Our discrete investigation later revealed that a policeman, Inspector Musa Audu, while on church duty on the same day, released his rifle to the pastor without permission.”

Another police source said, “Audu has now been detained alongside the pastor. But the FCT CP has submitted a recommendation to the IG for Audu’s dismissal, and he will be facing an orderly room trial soon.”

Meanwhile, the church, in a statement made available to The PUNCH on Monday evening, said Aigbe had always shown exemplary leadership since he became the pastor of the church in 1999.

Explaining that the pastor was trying to illustrate the message through his action, the church, however, said the gun was not loaded, adding that it did not support any form of violence.

The church noted that it would cooperate with the authorities throughout the investigation into the matter.

The statement read in part, “Without hesitation, pastor Uche has acknowledged the gravity of his actions and apologised unreservedly for them.

“As a church, House on the Rock rejects all forms of violence and we stand in the good news gospel of Jesus Christ which embraces peace and goodwill for all mankind.

“We are cooperating fully with the authorities as they carry out their investigations into the incident, and we will continue to engage internally to ensure this break in protocol does not happen again.”

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