The protracted crisis rocking the Assemblies of God, Nigeria has taken a new twist with the embattled factional General Superintendent, Prof Paul Emeka, being ejected from office by soldiers and policemen.
Emeka raised the alarm of his forceful ejection on Thursday from the National Secretariat of the church, located at Ozubulu Street, Independence Layout, Enugu by thugs allegedly hired by his rival, Rev Chidi Okoroafor, supported by a section of the Enugu State Police Command and a detachment of soldiers from the 82 Division of the Nigerian army.
He said that a combined team of the police and soldiers aided his rival, Rev Chidi Okoroafor to eject him from the secretariat of the church, after spraying tear gas on his workers and Priests loyal to him while thugs hired by Rev Okoroafor broke into the offices with dangerous equipment.
To that effect, some of the workers sustained injuries while many others took to their heels.
According to Emeka, the demand by his members to see their acclaimed letter of authority from the Supreme Court to eject him forcefully from the National secretariat was rebuffed by the Rev. Okoroafor and his group.
In his reaction, Enugu Police Public Relations Officer, Ebere Amaraizu said, “The Enugu State Command of the Nigeria Police Force wish to make it categorically clear that police never evicted any factional member of the Assemblies of God church as being contemplated but provided security to the officers of the Supreme Court and that of the state High Court who were in Enugu to perform their lawful duties at the secretariat of the Assemblies of God Church and that was based on the need not to give way to violence and eventual loss of lives and destruction of property as if security were not given to the court officials.
Also, the Deputy Director, Army Public Relations, 82 Division, Enugu, Col Musa Sagir said: “Nobody was brutalised by our personnel. You might be aware that the church has been in court for sometimes now; a Supreme Court judgment was given in favour of a party and I learnt the Police in Enugu were there to enforce the court order. Our patrol team was also within the general area in staging position to assist the Police in case of impending breakdown of law”.
Attempts to reach Rev Dr Chidi Okoroafor before filing this report was not successful but one of his Spokesmen told The Authority that they took over the National Headquarter in compliance with Supreme Court judgment and that a bailiff from the Supreme court was on the ground to have stimulated the process.