A High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, located in the Bwari Area Council of the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja, under His Lordship Justice O. A Musa, has cleared a suspended District Superintendent (DC) of the Abuja District of the Assemblies of God Church (AGC), Rev Nicolas Anyanwu of allegations of mis-management of funds, stealing as well as the conversion of church funds for personal use.
Presenting copies of the judgment to journalist at the weekend, in Abuja, Lead Counsel to the Applicant (Anyanwu), Barrister James Odiba who revealed that the court after going through various processes of the trials, which has been going on since 2014, came to the conclusion that Rev Anyanwu still remains the authentic district superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church, Abuja District .
Justice Musa in his judgment described the suspension of Anyanwu as illegal, unconstitutional with no legal effects. He further queried the disciplinary panel set up by a fraction of the church administration in respect of the aforementioned allegations without the consent and in fragrant disregard to the directives of the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria, describing their decision as illegal and runs contrary to the provisions of the registered constitution and bye-laws of the Assemblies of God Church.
“It is declared that by the provision of section 36(5) of the 1999 constitution, the applicant (Rev. Anyanwu) is presumed innocent of the allegations which constitute criminal offences and for which the applicant is yet to be arraigned and / or found guilty by a tribunal or court of competent jurisdiction. However on the issue of the damages claimed by the applicant; haven access same the sum of N2million is awarded for the malicious publications on the daily newspapers purportedly publicly dismissing the applicant as a minister and member of the AGC in fragrant breach of his fundamental right to fair hearing as enshrined and guaranteed by the constitution”.
“Therefore, the decision of the Respondent (panel of enquiry) at the Abuja East District Headquarters, Area 11, Garki on the 16th day of May, 2014 purportedly suspending the Applicant as the district superintendent of the Abuja district of the AGC Nigeria and the subsequent oral/ public announcement through the various pastors of the AGCs in Abuja as illegal, null, void and unconstitutional”, the judge rules.
In his response, Rev Anyanwu who said he has forgiven those who offended him, while calling on aggrieved members to sheath their swords and uphold peace, the clergy lauded that one of his responsibility as a preacher is to preach peace revealing that he cannot encourage violence. He called on the opposition group to unite as one so as to enhance the course of the gospel of Jesus Christ.
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