A Magistrate Court in Zuba, a suburb of the Federal Capital Territory (FCT), on Wednesday adjourned the trial of a cleric, Uche Aigbe.
The Pastor of House on The Rock (HOTR), The Refuge, in Wuye, Abuja, was arrested in February over alleged unlawful possession of firearm.
The court adjourned hearing following the substitution of Aigbe’s legal representative Uche Uzukwu, according to PRNigeria.
In the news published by Daily Post, the new counsel, Barrister O. E. Ube of P. H. Ogbole SAN & Co, made the request pursuant to Section 36 (A) of the 1999 Constitution.
Prosecution Counsel, J. C. A. Idachaba contended that the Section 36 cited by his colleague doesn’t envisage indulgence, complaining the defence applications were many. After listening to the arguments by both sides, Magistrate Abdulaziz Ismail postponed the case to May 25 for definite hearing.
The police charged Aigbe, Promise Ukachukwu and Olakunle Ogunleye with criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of prohibited firearm, inciting disturbance, and criminal intimidation.
The security agency said the defendants, all of House on The Rock, The Refuge, conspired with an illegal possession of an AK-47 rifle on February 12, 2023.
The prosecutor, Idachaba, informed the court that the defendants got the gun from Inspector Musa Audu who was on guard duty at the Church.
The Assistant Commissioner of Police added that they used the firearm for an illustration while preaching a sermon about faith.
The police alleged that the defendants made inciting and intimidating statements to the congregation that could cause alarm and breach of peace.
The offence violates Section III of the Firearms Act CAP F28, LFN 2004, and contravened Section 97, 114, and 397 of the Penal Code.