The Kogi State Governor, Yahaya Bello, has ordered the closure of a new generation church, The New Jerusalem Deliverance Ministry, Okene for allegedly defrauding members by selling “bulletproof water” and running an unapproved medical facility.
The Pastor of the church, Peter Adeiza, is said to have been operating the facility since 2008 while many people were said to have allegedly lost their lives due to illegal and unhygienic medical practice.
The closure order was implemented on Monday by the state Security Adviser, Commander Jerry Omodara (retd.), in the company with the state Commissioner for Information and Commissioner for Health, Kingsley Fanwo and Dr Zekeri Usman, respectively, other government officials and the security agents.
It was discovered that asides from housing a hospital that is used for taking deliveries and treating sicknesses, the church is also being used as a psychiatric and rehabilitation home as many people were seen with chains on their hands and legs. Members and worshippers confirmed that they have been receiving treatments for different ailments from the “Man of God.”
According to the state security adviser, the pastor had earlier been arrested following a preliminary investigation by the State Investigation Bureau of the Police and the Department of State Services to look into the activities going on in the church.
Omodara added that there is enough evidence that indicates that what they practise is contrary to both religious and medical practices. He said, “In a couple of days, he will be arraigned in court and will be prosecuted, if found guilty will face the music.” While addressing journalists, Fanwo said, “We are here to carry out the order of the governor to see what is happening here and see how to safeguard the interest and health of our people.” On his part, Usman said the health of residents and citizens of the state remains a priority of the government.
The state Commissioner of Police, Edward Egbuka, represented by Okene Area Commander, ACP Ibrahim Usman, said the police and other security agencies were on the ground to ensure that the premises remain sealed as well as maintain law and order.