Ex-police commissioner orders demolition of Imo church

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From George Onyejiuwa, OwerriAn ex-commissioner of police, Henry Njoku, has been accused of ordering the illegal demolition of a building of The Higher Life Generation Church, situated at Bishop’s Court, Uratta Orji, Owerri North Council  Area, Imo State.The church building was bulldozed on the  Sunday morning of October 30, 2022, during service, with equipment destroyed and valuable properties of church members allegedly carted away by thugs.Narrating the ordeal to journalists in Owerri, yesterday, the Senior Pastor of the church, Emmanuel Samuel, said the illegal demolition of the building was allegedly led by the ex-police commissioner, Njoku, who he said came with a bulldozer, guns and some thugs during Sunday morning service. He alleged that he and most of his church members were severely beaten by Njoku and his thugs.“On August 10, 2023, Orji Police Station invited me and I went with the church’s lawyer and the representative of the original owner of the land, Chief Patrick Azuoma. I wrote a statement that I was not laying claim as the owner of the land, that I was only a tenant. On December 31, 2021, the caretaker of the land told the church to occupy the land to raise our place of worship, which I agreed and that was how we came in.”The cleric also disclosed that the ex- police commissioner’s men had approached him earlier and asked him to buy the said land with no proof of ownership.“I was utterly confused because they were not the people who gave me the land for church service. Neither did they provide valid documents as owners of the land. They said the church should make payment before issuance of documents. And I disagreed and insisted on valid proof, and after some weeks, they invaded the church and destroyed everything therein. The church and its members are quite stranded now.”Explaining that the original owners of the land, Chief Patrick Azuoma’s family had taken the matter to court, prior to the demolition, Samuel called on the state government to look deeply into the matter and allow justice to prevail, so that such a fraudulent act may not repeat, reiterating that all claims, allegations and police reports against him and the church were all lies peddled to hoodwink them.However, efforts made to hear from Njoku were unsuccessful as at the time of filling in this report.



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