Akwa Ibom COVID-19 Taskforce sealing the Christ Embassy Church in the state.

The Akwa Ibom State government on Wednesday dropped the charges against Emmanuel Effiong, a pastor of Christ Embassy Church in Uyo.

Pastor Effiong and a videographer in the church were arrested on Sunday, June 21 for allegedly assaulting the COVID-19 monitoring team in the state.

They were accused of attacking the officials who were out to ensure all religious centres observed the COVID-19 guidelines. Both men were arrested after the church was sealed.

In a statement released by the State Commissioner for Information, Charles Udoh, the decision to drop the charges came from accepting appeals from well-meaning individuals and groups.

He added that the church and the pastor have also tendered an unreserved apology to the State government and pledged to adhere to all the guidelines and protocols adopted to prevent community spreading of the novel Coronavirus in the state.

“Following entreaties from well-meaning individuals and groups, the Akwa Ibom State Government has dropped charges against Pastor Emmanuel Effiong of Christ Embassy Church, Nung Akpa Ime branch, off Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo.

The church and the pastor have since tendered an unreserved apology to the state government while promising to adhere to the Akwa Ibom State Government/Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)/World Health Organisation (WHO)/Christian Association (CAN) Guidelines and Protocols adopted to prevent community spreading of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in Akwa Ibom State.

All churches are reminded of the need to ensure strict adherence to all stipulated guidelines” the statement read.