The Anglican Province of Owerri, Imo State has described as “primitive” and “condemnable” the invasion of policemen on Sunday at St Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama Obieri in the Nkwerre Local Government Area to arrest Uche Nwosu.
Mr Nwosu, son-in-law of former governor Rochas Okorocha, was arrested while service was ongoing on charges yet to be made public. He was later released.
The church said in a statement on Monday that although it supports the arrest of individuals who committed crimes no matter how highly placed they are, the invasion of a church of worship by security operatives while service was ongoing was unacceptable.
“As much as we are not concerned or interested in the reason for this invasion, which is unprecedented in the more than 160 years history of the church in this state, we are gravely worried and disturbed that worshippers were greatly frightened, worried, confused and completely disorganised by the presence of heavily armed security operatives in the church service thereby disrupting the worship of God’s people,” archbishop of the province Most Rev Dr David Onuoha said.
“That the police jumped inside the church in a gestapo style when the service was in full session is reprehensible, primitive, and highly condemnable. We are at a great loss why the police decided to throw caution to the winds and completely ignore internationally acclaimed rules of engagement and civility in this matter.”
The church said the sporadic gunshots outside the building sent worshippers scampering in different directions, signaling an abrupt and chaotic end of the service.