The trial of gun wielding pastor of the
House on the Rock Refuge Church, Wuye, Abuja Uche Aigbe, on charges of alleged unlawful possession of firearm, was stalled on Tuesday, 25 April, 2023 in Abuja due to absence of his counsel in Court.
The counsel, Uche Uzukwu, was not in due to what he claimed as other engagement before an Election Petition Tribunal.
At the resumed trial, Magistrate Abdulaziz Ismail drew the attention of the court to a letter by Uzukwu seeking adjournment of the trial at his instance.
Magistrate Ismail noted that the adjournment was at the instance of the defence counsel whom he said was absent on court due to a matter he had at an election tribunal.
He adjourned the matter in the interest of justice until May 2 for continuation of trial in the criminal charges.
PRNigeria reports that the police had charged Uche Aigbe, Promise Ukachukwu, and Olakunle Ogunleye with
criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of prohibited firearm, inciting disturbance, and criminal intimidation, which they pleaded not guilty to.
Specifically, Police alleged that the defendants, all of House on the Rock Refuge Church, Wuye, Abuja, conspired with an illegal possession of an AK47 rifle on February 12, 2023.
The prosecution counsel, Assistant Police Commissioner, Mr James Idachaba, had informed the court that the defendants got the firearm from Inspector Musa Audu, attached to Wuye Division, posted on guard duty at the said Church.
He added that the defendants used the firearm for an illustration while preaching a sermon about faith in the Church.
The prosecution counsel alleged that the defendants made inciting and intimidating statements to the church congregation that could cause alarm and breach of peace.
The offence, he said, is punishable under Section III of the Firearms Act CAP F28, LFN 2004, and contravened Section 97, 114, and 397 of the Penal Code.