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The Police in the Federal Capital Territory, FCT, has confirmed the arrest of Uche Aigbe, the presiding pastor of House on the Rock, Abuja Chapter, for bearing an AK47 rifle addressing the congregation.
The command also confirmed that the church’s Chief Security Officer and Inspector Musa Audu have been arrested for releasing his gun to Pastor Aigbe.
This was contained in a statement issued by the FCT Police Public Relations Officer, Josephine Adeh, 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.”
Recall that Aigbe caused controversy when he climbed the pulpit with an AK47 rifle and addressed the congregation saying that he was ready for the people looking for his trouble.
He said, “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.”
The pastor’s remark elicited laughter from the congregation as he asked them to guard their heart against false teachers.
Aigbe was captured in a video clip that trended online it prompted mixed reactions from Nigerians.
However, police sources that spoke to Punch on Sunday said policemen swung into action with immediate effect.
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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.”
Meanwhile, the church in a statement issued on Monday evening described Aigbe as one who has always shown exemplary leadership since he became the pastor of the church in 1999.
It stated that the pastor was trying to illustrate the message through his action, adding that the gun was not loaded and that the church does not support violence.
The church noted that it would cooperate with the authorities throughout the investigation into the matter.
The statement partly read, “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.”