A Chief Magistrate Court in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Abuja has ruled that the Presiding Pastor of the House On The Rock Church, Uche Aigbe has a criminal case to answer in the unlawful possession of prohibited firearms found in his possession.
The no-case submission made by the Pastor was dismissed by Chief Magistrate Abubakar Ismail on the ground that the objection to trial lacked merit and substance.
In a brief ruling on Thursday at Zuba, Magistrate Ismail held that from the totality of the evidence so far adduced, the defendant has been effectively linked with the charges preferred against him by Police.
The police had charged Uche Aigbe, Promise Ukachukwu and Olakunle Ogunleye with criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of prohibited firearms, inciting disturbance, and criminal intimidation, which they pleaded not guilty to.
The Police alleged that the defendants, all of House on the Rock Church, Wuye, Abuja, conspired with each other to illegally and unlawfully possess an AK47 rifle on February 12, 2023.
The prosecution counsel, Assistant Police Commissioner, James Idachaba, had informed the court that the defendants got the firearm from Inspector Musa Audu, attached to Wuye Division, posted on guard duty at the said Church.
He added that the defendants used the firearm to illustrate while preaching a sermon about faith in the Church.
The prosecution counsel alleged that the defendants made inciting and intimidating statements to the church congregation that could cause alarm and breach of peace.
The offence, he said, is punishable under Section III of the Firearms Act CAP F28, LFN 2004, and contravened Sections 97, 114, and 397 of the Penal Code.