Fred Ezeh, Abuja
A Pentecostal Church in Abuja, Pentecostal Power Revival Ministry, has reminded the Federal Capital Territory Administration (FCTA) of the FCT High Court judgement by Justice Sylvanus Orji, directing it to relocate the Church from its present location in Karu, Abuja, to somewhere else within the Karu vicinity.
It, however, threatened to re-approach the Court to inform it that seven years after it ordered that the Church be allocated another 3,000 square meters of land within Karu, Abuja, the FCT Administration was yet to do the needful regarding the relocation.
The Church had approach the Court in 2013 to seek for justice regarding the attempt by the Power Holding Company of Nigeria (PHCN) in connivance with other unseen forces, to forcefully take over its land located in Karu, Abuja, for the purposes of building a new power facility within.
Legal representative to the Church, Kenneth Ezeibekwe, told journalists at a press conference in Abuja, that the lives of worshippers in the church are at risk because of the proximity of the church building and other to power facilities.
He said: “When FCT Administration deliberately delayed or choose not to obey Court Order to grant alternative land to the Church, Abuja Electricity Distribution Company (AEDC) wrote a letter to the FCT Administration in 2015 to remind them that it’s two years after the judgement and nothing has been done.
“The letter clearly reminded the FCT Administration about the dangers posed to the worshippers of the plaintiff’s church which is only 10 meters away from 132KV power switch yard and less than two meters away from a 33KV. The church occupation of the land pose serious health harzard.
“It’s not good for the plaintiff to resort to self help or enforcement of the judgement against an agency of government. In subsequent letters to the Minister, we attached a comprehensive report by their risk and compliance unit which enumerated the risk the church members are exposed to by remaining on the land.”
They asked the Minister to speedily allocate alternative land to the plantiff church, or better still set up a committee to look into the matter so as to resolve the matter peacefully.
He added: “This is highly execrable and should not be condoned in a democratic government. Agents of government should not be arbitrary, punitive, and oppressive. Nobody is above the law. Order of the Court must be obeyed in civilized society. We should not permit the rule of might to prevail over the rule of law.”
Widow of the Founder of the Church, Pastor Evelyn Sarah Tete, asked for monetary compensation if 3,000 square meters size cannot be found in Karu vicinity. This is to enable to church to acquire new land at a safer place.
She said: “This church was built over a decade ago. Today, the cost of erecting a structure has trippled compared to what we have some years ago.”