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HomeHeadlinesCourt Adjourns Ruling On Abuja 'House On The Rock' Pastor Charged With...

Court Adjourns Ruling On Abuja ‘House On The Rock’ Pastor Charged With Brandishing AK-47 Rifle

Court Adjourns Ruling On Abuja ‘House On The Rock’ Pastor Charged With Brandishing AK-47 Rifle

A High Court sitting in Abuja has fixed May 15 for ruling in a motion filed by a pastor of the House on the Rock, Uche Aigbe and two others, seeking a judicial review of their trial before an FCT Magistrates Court.

A Chief Magistrate Court in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Abuja had ruled that the Presiding Pastor of the House On The Rock Church, Uche Aigbe, had a criminal case to answer in the case of unlawful possession of an AK-47 rifle.

Newsmediang had reported that Aigbe caused a stir on Sunday, February 12, 2023, when he mounted the pulpit carrying an AK-47 rifle.

Aigbe had said, “Some people are looking for my trouble. And I came here prepared. Today, there are some pastors with the gift of divination who go about ripping people off. This is why we should carry our “guns” and defend ourselves. I will particularly be coming very soon for some of you sleeping in the church.”

He was subsequently arrested and detained by the Federal Capital Territory Command of the Nigeria Police Force, insisting that he had questions to answer.

The police had charged Aigbe, Promise Ukachukwu, and Olakunle Ogunleye with criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of a prohibited firearm, inciting disturbance, and criminal intimidation.

Justice Olukayode Adeniyi fixed the date after listening to the submissions of both counsels on the matter.

However, the at FCT High Court on Monday, the counsel for the defendants, P.H. Ogbole, SAN, told the court that they filed a motion on notice seeking a judicial review of the proceedings at the lower court. Adding that the issues of jurisdiction were raised, urging the court to grant their prayers.

In the motion on notice marked M/13706/2023, the lawyer alleged that the magistrates’ court violated their fundamental rights to a fair hearing in one of its proceedings.

He said, “The proceedings of March 28, 2023, at the Zuba Magistrate’s Court, wherein the magistrate descended into the arena of conflict is wrongful, in a clear misapplication of the law and a violation of their fundamental right to a fair hearing.”

He further sought a declaration, among others, ”That the proceedings of June 19, 2023, at the Magistrate’s Court in the trial of the applicants wherein the magistrate admitted a compact disc as an exhibit without viewing the content of the exhibit in the open court is wrongful, in clear misapplication of the law and a violation of their fundamental right to fair hearing.”

The lawyer stated that the motion was brought puunderection 227(2) of the 1999 Constitution (as amended); Sections 19 and 33 of the FCT High Court Act Cap 510 LFN 2007; Order 44 Rule 1 of the FCT High Court Civil Procedure Rules, 2018.

On his part, counsel for the commissioner of police, Inah Umoh, urged the court to dismiss the application.

He urged the court to allow the lower court to continue with the matter.

“The essence of a judicial review is to show that the trial court exceeded its jurisdiction.

“In this case, Section 27(4) and (5) give jurisdiction to the court to try such offence summarily,” he added.

Meanwhile; Justice Olukayode Adeniyi, after listening to the submissions of both counsel in the matter, fixed May 15 for ruling on the application.

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