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2 Pastors, 34 Church Members Arraigned Over Disturbance

The Taraba State Police Command yesterday arraigned two pastors of the United Methodist Church of Nigeria (UMCN) Nukkai, Jalingo, alongside 34 members of the church before a Jalingo Magistrates’ Court for alleged public disturbance and causing grievous hurt to a fellow pastor.
The accused, Rev Abinifus Akila and Rev Hassan Umar alongside 34 members of the church were charged with criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, resistance/obstruction of lawful arrest, causing grievous hurt and disturbance of public peace and theft, punishable under Sections 97, 102, 113, 171, 247 and 287 of the Penal Code Law.
The prosecutor, Sgt Fachang Bangnim told the court that on March 23, 2014, one Rev. Dr. Eunice Iliya of UMCN Jalingo reported at the Police Area Command that at about 8am on the same date, one Rev Thomas Bakawu who was posted to take charge of UMCN Nukkai was seriously beaten and injured by a group led by Rev. Abinifus and Rev. Hassan.
“They inflicted injury on his head and his Nokia phone valued N25,000 was stolen by the group led by Rev. Abinifus Akila and Rev. Hassan Umar,” the prosecutor alleged.
He told the court that police arrested the 34 members of congregation of the church who stormed the Jalingo Police Division and the Police Headquarters, causing public disturbance in an attempt to release the two accused persons earlier arrested.
“They stormed Jalingo Division and Police Headquarters throwing stones and pebbles at the station, blocking the entrance with attempt to rescue the two earlier arrested persons of the church,” he added.
When the charges were read to the accused, they all pleaded not guilty and the prosecutor asked for a date for further mention of the matter as investigations had not been concluded.

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