Demands release of members
By Kizito Duru
House of Prayer International Covenant Church Okporo Orlu, has raised alarm over the raid of the church by members of the Nigerian Army.
In a release on January 22, 2021, signed by the church’s National Secretary, Luke Nwannadi, the Church said the invasion by the military occurred at the early hours of January 22, 2021 at the church premise at Okporo headquarters, Orlu, Imo State.
In the release made available to newsmen, the Church lamented the arrest of her members and called on Imo State government, State commissioner for police and military commander of 34 Artillery Brigade, Obinze to ensure the release of the arrested.
The release reads, “An incident occurred at the early hours of January 22, 2021 being an unprovoked invasion of our Church at Okporo Headquarters, Orlu, Imo State by the Nigerian Army.
“In the course of our routine morning devotional service at about 6 a.m, unknown to us, a group of Nigerian Military men surrounded the Church premises, shooting sporadically and forcefully entered the church and arrested many of our members who were taken to an unknown destination. During this unwarranted attack many gates, doors and windows were destroyed by the invading soldiers.
“It is pertinent to note that the soldiers who came in military vans left everyone in doubt as to the reason for the wanton destruction of properties and the consequent arrest of our members.
“Worthy of note is that House of Prayer International Covenant Church is a registered corporate entity which has been in existence since 1966 with more than 65 branches across Nigeria, and at no time has the Church been involved in any criminal activity that could lead to this kind of debacle.
“The Church is therefore using thus medium to call on the State Authority, Governor Hope Uzodimma, the military commander of 34 Artillery Brigade, the state’s commissioner of police and all well meaning Nigerians to use their good offices to wade into this matter in order to effect an immediate release of our members among whom are the aged who have serious health challenges.”
When contacted, the Imo State Police Command through it’s Public Releations Officer, PPRO, Mr Orlando Ikeokwu referred our reporter to the spokesperson of Obinze Military barrack, saying that it was an operation carried out by soldiers,not policemen.