CHURCH MEMBERS ATTACK POLICEMEN ENFORCING GATHERING RESTRICTION IN LAGOS

Oluwatosin Omojuyigbe

Some members of the Victorious Army International Church, on Sunday, allegedly assaulted some police officers enforcing the Lagos State Government’s ban on gatherings more than 50 persons to curtail the spread of coronavirus.

It was gathered that members of the church’s branch on Acme Road in the Ogba area of the state also assaulted a TVC reporter, Ivy Kanu, and her cameraman.

PUNCH Metro learnt that some of the church members attacked the enforcement officers of the Rapid Response Squad, who were recording the church’s activities, and seized two mobile phones, a Samsung S8+ and a Samsung J4, from them.

The RRS said in a statement that one of the phones, a Samsung S8+, was still being held by the church while the Samsung J4 had been released.

The statement read in part, “The Commander, Lagos State Rapid Response Squad, DCP Olatunji Disu, this morning (Sunday) forced the management of the Victorious Army International Church to comply with the Lagos State Government’s directive limiting gatherings to 50 persons to prevent the spread of coronavirus in the state.

“The team got to the Acme Road branch of the church around 9am only to be locked out by the church, while officials of the church were seen running around to inform other members of the presence of the police.

“When the entrance gate to the church was opened, some belligerent church members, who saw one of the enforcement officers recording the church activities, attacked the officers and seized two mobile phones, a Samsung S8+ and a Samsung J4.

“The members equally attacked a TVC reporter, Ivy Kanu, and almost seized her phone. The TVC cameraman was equally attacked as they tried unsuccessfully to prevent him from recording around the church premises.

“Disu, in de-escalating the crisis, prevailed on the management of the church to discontinue the service and prune down the attendance in compliance with the state governor, Mr Babajide Sanwo-Olu’s directive.”

According to the RRS, there was total compliance in all the other places of worship visited as some churches had their services online, while others had banners on their entrances informing worshippers to go back home.

Copyright PUNCH.