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There were indications on Tuesday that the police may on Wednesday formally charge controversial pastor and leader of Christian Praying Assembly.....
There were indications on Tuesday that the police may on Wednesday formally charge controversial pastor and leader of Christian Praying Assembly (CPA), Rev. (Dr.) Emeka Ezeugo King with attempted murder, an offence that carries life imprisonment.
Police spokesman, Bode Ojajuni, confirmed the planned arraignment on a holden charge before a magistrate’s court.
Top police sources said the arraignment comes on the heels of the completion of investigations and legal advice provided by police lawyers, after studying the case file, comprising statements of people involved, alongside the various exhibits.
The disclosure came just as scores of demonstrators, led by relations of some of the victims of Rev. King’s fire attack on Monday stormed the Lagos State secretariat calling for the immediate closure of the CPA owing to alleged criminal activities there.
The protesters, led by Mr. Raphael Uzuh, father of Ann, who is critically ill at the hospital, asked Governor Bola Tinubu to monitor police investigations to forestall possible compromise.
According to the protesters, who carried various placards with inscriptions, like: "Killer Pastor Must Go to Jail" and "This King is evil," among others, lamented the various criminal activities in the CPA, wondering why government granted the church Certificate of Occupancy.
Responding to the demonstrators, the commander of the Rapid Respond Squad (RRS), CSP Kayode Egbetokun, urged them to conduct themselves peacefully and to prepare a formal petition to the state’s Commissioner of Justice, Prof. Oshibajo.
Supported by Chiejina Oliseh and some of the female victims, the protesters also called the attention of the governor and the public to feelers that lawyers of the suspect have been moving cash around with the purpose of influencing the course of investigation.
"We are aware of moves to influence and whittle down the case, both by making overtures to policemen and media people, thereby spoiling our case. They have also made moves to get Ann to re-write her statement to the police," Chiejina, one of the victims, said.
The protesters, who came in various lorries, chanted songs expressing their indignation at atrocities in the church, especially the alleged initiation of members into a cult, which made them to deny their biological parents.
Asked why his daughter, Ann, severed relationship with the family and moved into the pastor’s house, Uzuh blamed that on the fact that all converts of the church are brainwashed and demonized.
Another victim, Uche Iwoba, urged Rev King to be man enough to own up to the fact that he asked Kelechi to spray the victims with fuel and consequently set them ablaze, instead of the current denials and attempts to escape justice.
Meanwhile, the CPA has absolved Rev King of any wrong doing.
According to Pastor (Mrs.) Chinwe King, a senior pastor in the church and Barrister Ebele Obi, who spoke on behalf of the church, all the allegations against King are spurious and unfounded.
The lawyer said that one of the victims of the fire incident, who is now recuperating in a private hospital in Lagos, had exonerated the church leader, adding that King even rescued her during the fire accident.
He denied the claim that one of the victims died, stating that one Kosisochukwu, who is alleged to have died, is known to be making calls to people.
The lawyer said those claiming that somebody was burnt to death by King should produce the corpse of the dead, adding that Rev King would soon be exonerated.