Magistrate Court

The General Overseer of a Pentecostal church in Ovwian, Udu local government area of Delta State, has been convicted alongside six of his church members for violating the lockdown order in the state.

The clergyman (name withheld) in company of six others, were last Sunday arrested during a service in the church and arraigned before the presiding magistrate, Ena Odjugo.

The magistrate, who frowned at the actions of the cleric in the face of the lockdown order by the governor, Dr. Ifeanyi Okowa as part of measures to curb the spread of COVID-19 in the state.

Giving reasons for violating the lockdown, the cleric claimed that he was only obeying instructions from God who told him to organize a three-day fasting and prayer service with twelve persons representing the twelve tribes of Judah to conquer the COVID-19 pandemic.

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The magistrate who ordered the GO to read from Romans 13:1-6, told him and his six members that they violated sections 203 of the criminal code despite their alleged message from God.

They were, however, granted bail with the option of community service which must be carried out within Ovwian community and its environs to sensitize other pastors to close down their church until the expiration of the lockdown.