A clergy man, John Delano attached to Holy Trinity Church at 2, Oba Adeyemi Oyekan Avenue, Ikoyi, Lagos state has faced an attack from hoodlums.
The thugs who were reportedly over 30 in number invaded the church after morning prayers with a bulldozer, removed the fence and proceeded to remove the gate, Vanguard reports.
During the invasion, the pastor and two guards were attacked, slapped while the security personnel was almost lynched. The pastor gave an account of the event to the publication.
He said: “On Wednesday morning, I and David Neji (faculty manager for the church) were closing up after a prayer meeting from 6:00 to 7:00 am. We heard a crashing sound and we went out to investigate. The sight that greeted us was shocking. A bulldozer crashed through our gate and about 30 men rushed in.
“The man in front was yelling out orders. Everybody out! Upon hearing the orders and realizing we had no option but to obey, we started heading out.
“It was then l remembered that my car key was still in the church, so l rushed back to get my key and l drove my car to a safe spot away from the church.
“When I came back to watch what was going on, I saw two of our security guys being manhandled. So I started to take photos; I switched to video. As l began to record what was going on video, one of the thugs grabbed my phone and started to walk off with it. I immediately followed him and started to entreat him so as to get my phone back. He took me to their leader, the man in green who had been yelling orders.
“He slapped me twice. The people around me started to slap me as well. They took me to the sandy side of the pavement and told me to sit on the ground.
“He left for about 10 minutes, then he came back to talk with me. He asked for my name and what l was doing there. I told him I was the pastor. He began to berate me.”
The pastor stated further that there was no prior notice before the attack, maintaining that the church paid for the lease on the land and it would end in November 2022.
“We had been negotiating to buy the premises from them. When negotiations broke down, they began to threaten us with eviction. We explained that there is a subsisting lease in respect of which we are the beneficiaries.
“They offered to pay us to surrender the lease, we refused the offer. Thereafter, they became hostile so we instituted an action in the Lagos High Court.”
It was learnt that the police were reluctant about getting involved in the matter as there were often land grabbing cases in Ikoyi and their hands were tied in the matter.
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