The Presiding Pastor of the House On The Rock Church, Uche Aigbe, will answer for alleged unlawful possession of prohibited firearms, Chief Magistrate Court in the Federal Capital Territory FCT, Abuja ruled.
Earlier, the preacher had made a no-case submission but it was dismissed on Thursday by Chief Magistrate Abubakar Ismail on the ground that the objection to trial lacked merit and substance.
The Magistrate, in a brief ruling held that the police have proved beyond reasonable doubt that the defendant was linked with the charges preferred against him.
Aigbe was dragged before the court alongside Promise Ukachukwu and Olakunle Ogunleye over alleged criminal conspiracy, illegal possession of prohibited firearms, inciting disturbance, and criminal intimidation, which they pleaded not guilty to.
According to the Police, the defendants, all of House on the Rock Church, Wuye, Abuja, conspired with each other to illegally and unlawfully possess an AK47 rifle on February 12, 2023.
The prosecution counsel, Assistant Police Commissioner, 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 to illustrate 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 Sections 97, 114, and 397 of the Penal Code.