According to PUNCH Metro, the police in Lagos have arrested six persons for allegedly disturbing the peace of residents of Olaomibiyi Street, Ogba, during a church service. The members – Ngozichukwu Onyebuchi (44), Clement Eromosele (26), Chukwudi Akwegbu (26), Chibuzor Chukwu (18), Godspower Enudi (21) and Okorie Livonus (36) – were arraigned in a Lagos Magistrate’s Court sitting in Ogba. They were accused of converting a residential apartment to a church.
It was learnt that the landlord and residents of the building where the defendants gathered to worship had complained that the congregation caused noise pollution whenever they prayed. They were said to have cautioned the worshippers to lower their voices, but the members reportedly declined.
Our correspondent gathered that the church was reported to the police at the Pen Cinema division, who arrested the six members on January 14 during Sunday service, while the others were said to be at large. They were brought before a Chief Magistrate, Mrs. T. Akanni, on two counts of engaging in a conduct capable of causing a breach of the peace.
The offence, according to a police prosecutor, Inspector Clifford Ogu, is punishable under sections 410 and 166 (1) (d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011. The charges read:
“That you, Ngozichukwu Onyebuchi, Clement Eromosele, Chukwudi Akwegbu, Chibuzor Chukwu, Godspower Enudi and Okorie Livonus, and others still at large on Olaomibiyi Street, Ogba, Lagos, on January 14, 2016, at about 8am in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony to wit: conduct likely to cause a breach of the peace.
“That you and others still at large on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magisterial district, did unlawfully convert the residential apartment of the aforementioned house to a church and disturb peace of the landlord and other tenants as you were praying on top of your voice, thereby committing an offence punishable under Section 166 (1) (d) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.”
The accused, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges and elected summary trial. The presiding magistrate, Akanni, admitted them to bail in the sum of N50,000 each with two sureties each in like sum. The magistrate added that the sureties must provide evidence of tax payments and their residential addresses to the court for the perfection of the defendants’ bail. The case was adjourned till February 15, 2016, for mention.