Nigeria: Police arrest pastor for unlawful possession of firearm

The Abuja Police command has arrested the presiding pastor of the Abuja branch of the House on the Rock Church,…

The Abuja Police command has arrested the presiding pastor of the Abuja branch of the House on the Rock Church, Uche Aigbe, who caused a stir when he mounted the pulpit on Sunday carrying an AK 47 rifle.Local media reports on Monday said that the incident took place during the second service of the Church on Sunday in Nigeria’s capital city of Abuja.

Although the reports stated that the pastor meant no harm but used the gun to illustrate some aspects of his preaching.

“Some people are looking for my trouble. And I came here prepared.

“Today, there are some pastors with gift of divination who go about ripping people. This is why we should carry our ‘guns’ and defend ourselves. I will particularly be coming very soon for some of you sleeping in the church,” the pastor was quoted as saying during his sermon.

But when the video of the pastor’s preaching went viral on Sunday, the Abuja Police command launched a probe into the incident and announced that the pastor had been arrested on Monday.

“The pastor whose message and demonstrations were tagged inciting by various media and social media users was arrested in the early hours of Monday 13th February 2023, along side the Church 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 discrete investigation has commenced, members of the public are urged to shun actions or utterances that is in breach of extant laws as the law is trite and all violators will be adequately sanctioned,” the Police said.

Meanwhile, the church has responded to the arrest of the pastor. In a statement on Monday, the Church stated that the pastor preached a message about fighting the good fight with spiritual weapons and carried “an unloaded gun” to illustrate his message on ‘Guarding your Faith.’

The Church said that the pastor had been a leader in the church since 1999 and has always shown exemplary leadership.

“However, he realises that even with the best of intentions, carrying a gun to illustrate his message was ill-advised and regrettable. 

“Without hesitation, Pastor Uche has acknowledged the gravity of his actions and apologises unreservedly for them.

“As a church, House On The Rock rejects all forms of violence and we stand on the good news gospel of Jesus Christ which embraces peace and goodwill for all of mankind.

“We are cooperating fully with the authorities as they carry out their investigations into this incident, and we will continue to engage internally to ensure this break in protocol does not happen again,” the Church said.




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