Living Faith Church members Gwagwalada protest church demolition

Members of Living Faith Church in Gwagwalada Abuja are protesting what they termed as unlawful demolition of their church by officials of the Department of Development Control of the Federal Capital Development Authority (DDC-FCDA).

The members said, beside the demolition of the church, located along the Specialist Hospital Road in Gwagwalada, the Resident Senior Pastor, Caleb Olubiyi was also assaulted by some policemen attached to the officials of the DDC-FCDA.

The Chairman of the church’ board, Elder Samuel Olaleye, who was flanked by various placard- bearing members, told  journalists although the structure had, for two years now, been marked for demolition, the officials gave no prior notice before the exercise was effected last Wednesday.

Olaleye described the demolition and assault on the pastor as “barbaric, horrific, illegal and disheartening,” adding the DDC-FCDA’s bulldozers were brought down on the church building without notice.

He said the property title and other verifiable documents, showing that the land belongs to Living Faith, are in the custody of the church.

Olaleye wondered why the DDA-FCDA decided to embark on “a wicked and malicious act without recourse to due process”.

He said Pastor Olubiyi has been on admission, in an undisclosed hospital, since Wednesday due to the injuries he sustained as a result of the police brutality.

The church’s Legal Adviser, Olurumotito George, gave details of what led to the assault on Pastor Olubiyi.

He argued the beating of the man of God was uncalled for and highly condemnable.

George said eyewitness accounts and information from the injured pastor showed he was seriously beaten by the policemen, because he attempted to take shots of the bulldozers during the demolition.

He added: “The pastor on hearing the news of the demolition quickly rushed 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 it to our General Overseer, Bishop David Oyedepo.

“My brother, that was all. The next thing, according to Pastor Olubiyi, was beating,” George said.

He wondered why the officials of the DDC-FCDA chose to demolish the church when some buildings, erected on the same line with the church, were left untouched by the officials of the DDC-FCDA/Fed Ministry of Works, Power and Housing.

On what the church intends to do next, George said it has 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, ASP Mathias Agbo and Urento Monday.

Henotace Team

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