Church denies shooting pastor, refuses to pay N500m damages | The Guardian Nigeria News


Apostolic Church of the Gospel Registered Administrators lawyer Kehinde Fadayiro has called false news circulating on social media about the church and one of its pastors, who was allegedly shot by church security.

He said: “The church has also not refused or neglected to pay the sum of 500 million naira in damages awarded by the court as being speculated by the victim (pastor) but decided to exercise his constitutional right to appeal under the law.”

The victim, Pastor Obabueki Garuba, alleged that the General Overseer of the Gospel Apostolic Church Registered Administrator ordered the Chief of Church Security (CSO) to shoot him at the arsenal from the church.

He also said that following a human rights lawsuit he filed against the Church, the court awarded N500 million in damages in his favor, adding that the Church had refused to comply with the judgment or enter into any post-judgment negotiations with him.

According to the lawyer, the unfortunate incident occurred on November 15, 2000 and was caused by the victim himself, when he handled the loaded weapon of the head of Church security.

The council added: “By a letter dated September 25, 2012, the Oba of Benin, Omo N’oba N’Edo Uku Akpolokpolo, invited the former General Overseer of the Church, the late Reverend Samuel Akinbode Sadela, who was then 112 years old, at his palace during the said incident and the late rev. Safely, through a Senior Pastor thoroughly explained to the late Oba and Council of Chiefs members present.

However, the late Oba in his wisdom pleaded on behalf of Pastor Garuba and asked the late General Overseer to forgive Pastor Garuba as he remains one of their brothers and should not be abandoned.

The lawyer further asserted, “On October 11, 2012, being the next appointment date, the late General Overseer, through his representative, informed the Oba and his chiefs that he had pardoned Pastor Garuba and gave him the sum of 600,000 naira.

He said the Oba had warned Pastor Garuba not to pursue the matter further and should also refrain from denigrating the late General Overseer’s name and reputation.

“Notwithstanding the late Oba’s warning, Pastor Garuba through his former lawyers; Messrs. Chief Lanre Adeniyi & Co filed an action bearing the mention FHC/L/CS/1273/2013 on September 16, 2013 against The Gospel Apostolic Church and three others for the application of his fundamental right to life.

“The minutes of the said trial were never served on the Church to enable it to file a reply, but an affidavit of service was filed by one Onwuka Patrick; ex-bailiff of the Federal High Court and was entered into the Court’s file.

“As a result of the service evidence, the trial judge, Musa Kurya, on March 12, 2014 issued a N500 million judgment against Gospel Apostolic Church and three other defendants in the case.

“Despite the foregoing judgment, Pastor Garuba, through the same lawyers of old, again filed another complaint number FHC/L/CS/2040 on December 30, 2014, in the same court against the registered administrators of the Apostolic Gospel and three others, claiming the same reliefs as in the previous suit marked FHC/L/CS/1273/2013.

“Initially, the Church Trustees in this new matter were not served with the original proceedings, but were given Notice of Hearing and the Church Trustees appeared and accordingly filed their reply on May 20, 2015.

“Trial Judge, Ibrahim Buba, after listening to the parties’ submissions and reviewing the evidence presented in court, dismissed the lawsuit with a cost of N100,000, describing it as a fairy tale resembling fiction and fantasy. ‘

“Regardless of the above judgment in case no.: FHC/L/CS/2040/2014, Pastor Garuba and his current lawyers, MM. Osagie Obayuwana & Co., on June 9, 2016, surreptitiously commenced garnishment proceedings in court with respect to judgment in case no.: FHC/L/CS/1273/2013, previously discontinued and on November 28, 2016, Judge Hadiza Shagari issued a nisi order for the seizure of all funds listed to the credit of the Evangelical Apostolic Church and three others with their bankers,” explained the lawyer.

He said the Church only became aware of the judgment in FHC/L/CS/1273/2013 on February 22, 2017, when Ecobank Plc; one of her bankers informed her by letter dated the same day that a lien had been placed on the account of her former overseer-general, the late Sadela.

According to Fadayiro, after learning of the judgment in case No.: FHC/L/CS/1273/2013, the trustees of the Church through a law firm initiated various legal proceedings both before the court of first instance than before the court of appeal on appeal no.: CA /L/43/2018 to annul the decision without success.

In an attempt by the Church to attack the lower court filing which states that the Church was served with the original processes in Case No.: FHC/L/CS/1273/2013, a-t he declared, the registered administrators of the Church discovered their utter shock and disbelief that the same ex-bailiff; Onwuka, who claimed to have served the Church, had been fired from the Federal Judicial Service Commission (FJSC) on October 18, 2017 by the Commission for gross misconduct of falsely filing an affidavit of service.

His remarks: “Following the aforementioned discovery, the administrators of the Church, through their lawyer, Mr. Kehinde Fadayiro, filed on November 30, 2018 the lawsuit number FHC/L/CS/2005/2018 against Pastor Garuba and the Deputy Sheriff of the Federal High Court. to set aside the judgment in case no.: FHC/L/CS/1273/2013 for fraud, gross misrepresentation and deceit and in the face of overwhelming evidence before the court, including that of the former bailiff of the Court, who admitted in open court that he had never served the initiating documents in case no.: FHC/L/CS/1273/2013, Judge OO Liman dismissed the action on the grounds that he does not have the jurisdiction required to hear the case.

“The said Judgment in Case No: FHC/L/CS/2005/2018 has since been appealed on July 27, 2022 and their counsel has been duly served.

“Their appeal is a continuation of the hearing of the case and until the appeal is dropped, the action is still pending in court. The upholding of a preliminary objection by the trial court does not does not necessarily mean that the appellate court would agree with the trial court on the basis of the facts and evidence presented to the court, because the appellate court has the right to examine the records before it and to decide whether the trial the court was right or wrong.

On the issue of the armory, Fadayiro said, “Firstly, at no time or period did the registered administrators of the Church maintain an armory with loaded weapons on its premises. Secondly, the loaded single barrel shotgun that Pastor Garuba fiddled with before it exploded and caused damage to both his eyes was primarily used for the protection of the General Overseer of the Church at the time and other ministers of God who lived on the premises of the Church. at this time when the nefarious activities of the thugs terrorizing the Somolu/Bariga area of ​​Lagos State were at their peak during this time of the year.

“Furthermore, Pastor Garuba indeed filed a sham petition against the Head of Security and Registered Church Administrators at Area 2 Police Command Headquarters, Onikan, Lagos in May 2008, where the head of security was arrested, detained and then released on bail.

“After the conclusion of the investigation, the head of security and the registered administrators of the Church have never been charged in a Nigerian court for the offense of unlawful possession of firearms or any other related offense whatsoever. whether.

“Our client wishes to state firmly that he has not failed, refused and or neglected to pay the sum of 500 million naira awarded against him by the court as speculated by Pastor Garuba and his lawyer, but has decided and indeed exercised his constitutional right of appeal within the framework of the law.”


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