Two of the male protesters were driven away in a black Mercedes Benz C200 saloon belonging to an unidentified security agency shortly before 8:00 a.m, according to witnesses.
As protesters began to arrive, more security personnel were also deployed at the church’s headquarters in Abuja’s Guzape neighbourhood.
At least 30 police officers were seen around the church. About 20 Civil Defence men were also seen scattered between the church’s junction on Murtala Muhammed Way and the church’s premises, a distance of about 1.2 kilometres.
Hooded men from the State Security Service (SSS) were also everywhere outside the church, a presence some of the protesters said was aimed at intimidating them.
About a dozen soldiers also arrived at the church at about 8:40 a.m.
At the church’s entrance, security agents have joined church security officials to conduct a thorough search of visitors and members of the congregation who wanted to go inside the auditorium ahead of service commencement at 9:00 a.m.
Both men and women were asked to leave all their belongings outside. Only mobile phones and the Holy Bible were allowed inside, Breaking Times correspondence noticed.
Members of the congregation who decried the stringent measure as unnecessarily problematic.
“I have been attending this church since 2013 when we were still using the Thisday Dome in Jabi,” a female member said. “This is too much today.”
She, however, said the measure might be necessary to prevent Mr Fatoyinbo’s detractors from having their way.