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Three pastors nabbed for holding Easter services in Delta

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Three pastors have been arrested in Warri, Delta State, for holding Easter services despite the state’s directive against such. The arrests were made by the Warri police area command led by the Assistant Commissioner of Police, Mohammed Garba, who swooped on the pastors as they held Easter services.

Governor Ifeanyi Okowa and the Delta police command had on Saturday issued a directive advising religious institutions not to hold Easter services and to direct their members to stay at home as part of efforts to contain the coronavirus pandemic in the state. Delta has recorded three coronavirus cases so far, with one confirmed death.

The three arrested pastors were identified as the Vicar of the All Saints Church, Airport road, Rev. David Nnamani; General Overseer of Christ for the World Mission, Rev. Dan Obong; and a Reverend father of the Anglican Church in Warri whose name was not disclosed.

Also, 20 others were arrested in Warri and neighbouring Uvwie local councils for flouting the stay at home order. They are presently being detained at the A Division and Area Command police stations pending when they would be charged to court.

According to the police, many of the arrested persons claimed to have permits but failed to produce such. Two of the arrested pastors, according to the police, said they were not holding a normal service but merely a low-key fellowship with neighbours.

The Director General, Security Matters in Delta, Mr. David Tonwe, and the police area commander blamed the pastors for not adhering to government’s order, saying the pastors would be charged to court for flouting the stay at home directive.

It was learnt that shortly after the arrests, some concerned pastors stormed the police stations to canvass the release of their colleagues but the police authorities bluntly refused, urging them to be in court tomorrow (Tuesday), when they would be arraigned.

Meanwhile, the Nasarawa State police command has arrested the Acting Registrar of the State Polytechnic Lafia, Murktar Wakeel, for violating the state government’s order on social distancing in the state. The Commissioner of Police, Bola Longe, disclosed this while speaking with newsmen on Sunday in Lafia.

Longe said that the police had also arrested Mr. Sulieman Agyo, overseer of the Lafia North Development Area of the state. Both men were arrested on Saturday during a wedding ceremony in Lafia. Longe said that the wedding, held in Lafia, was a clear disregard of the state’s order on social distancing. According to him, the suspects will be arraigned in court on Tuesday after the Easter holidays.


In this article:
Ifeanyi Okowa.
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