I threw tear gas into church to pun­ish pas­tor –Sus­pect

Daily Trust - - NEWS - From Hir Joseph, Lafia

Nasarawa State Com­mis­sioner of Po­lice, Ibrahim Idris, yes­ter­day, pa­raded a man ar­rested for throw­ing tear gas into a church in Ak­wanga.

The po­lice com­mis­sioner said Joan­than Gyanet, who is a dis­missed po­lice­man, threw tear gas into a church, Trans­for­ma­tion As­sem­bly. He main­tained that the sus­pect was not ar­rested with ex­plo­sives as al­leged by mem­bers of the church.

He fur­ther stated that the church af­fected was not ECWA, as widely re­ported.

The po­lice com­mis­sioner said the sus­pect will be charged to court for il­le­gal pos­ses­sion of tear gas, and for us­ing same with­out au­tho­riza­tion from the po­lice.

The sus­pect, who spoke to news­men when he was pa­raded at the state Crim­i­nal In­ves­ti­ga­tion Depart­ment (CID) in Lafia, ad­mit­ted us­ing the tear gas, and not an ex­plo­sive as re­ported to the po­lice.

He said he used the tear gas on the church to teach the pas­tor a les­son be­cause, ac­cord­ing to him the Man of God has been “ex­ploit­ing him”.

He al­leged that for some time now, Pas­tor John Chia-Aondo Ig­ba­sue, has been col­lect­ing money from him in ex­change for prayers to make God re­in­state him in the po­lice force.

“He has been tak­ing my money. I have been pay­ing tithe for about six weeks now be­cause the pas­tor promised that if I pay, God will open the way for me to re­turn to the ser­vice. So when six months passed and I didn’t see any­thing work­ing, I de­cided to go to him and he was not happy with me. That is why I used the tear gas,” the sus­pect said.

But Pas­tor Ig­ba­sue, who con­firmed that the sus­pect is a mem­ber of his con­gre­ga­tion, de­nied the ex­ploita­tion al­le­ga­tion.

“Where is he go­ing to get money to pay me? I don’t op­er­ate a prayer house that col­lects money from people to pray for them,” the pas­tor said.

He added, “Dur­ing the church ser­vice, we heard an ex­plo­sion around the win­dow of the church. We ran out and re­ported to the po­lice and they came to in­ves­ti­gate the mat­ter, af­ter which they told us it was tear gas, not ex­plo­sives,” he said.

Mean­while, chair­man of the Chris­tian As­so­ci­a­tion of Nigeria (CAN), Rev­erend Arm­strong Ajayi, who con­firmed that the af­fected pas­tor re­ported the mat­ter to the as­so­ci­a­tion, said the in­ci­dent pre­vented people from at­tend­ing the Easter rally.

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