By Gambo Jagindi
February 3, 2020
Church threatens Nation Newspaper with litigation over publication on “man dies in coffin’’
The Fire House Church International Worship Centre has threaten a legal action against the Nation Newspaper over a published report about a man who Was alleged to havea died in coffin after an Abuja pastor allegedly paid N500,000 for miracle.
The General Overseer of the Church, located in Nyanya, Abuja, Bishop Emmanuel Esezobor, disclosed this in an interview with newsmen on Sunday in Abuja, said the church regarded the publication as defamation of character.
Esezobor said the attention of the church was drawn to an online publication by the Nation Newspaper with the title “Drama As Man Dies In Coffin After Abuja Pastor Allegedly Paid N500,000 for Miracle Scam.’’
He said that in the story, the newspaper wrote that the pastor offered a trader N500,000 for miracle scam that went bad.
“According to the report, the trader was to pretend that he was a dead man and the pastor will then raise him from the death.
“Unfortunately, the trader died in coffin before they could make it to the stadium where the pastor was holding his crusade In Abuja.’’
The pastor also quoted that report as saying that the wife of the deceased got police involved, the “fake pastor’’ was arrested but got himself released through his influential friends and now back to performing strange miracles.
Esezobor said that the publication did not only linked the alleged incident to his church but went further to mention his name as the alleged pastor, without verifying the report.
He recalled that the alleged report, which was false and untrue, surfaced online and social media in November 2016 without any verification.
Esezobor said the Nigeria Television Authority (NTA) on the access to the said 2016 report came to the church to verify the true position while police also investigated it.
The pastor said that the church had kept quite since 2016 because the news was not from any legitimate source, as there was no picture of such claimed incident, no picture of the casket or claimed trader, not even his name.
“The trader should also have a market union and fellow traders. From 2016 up till now there was no eye witness.
“But, just on Jan. 28 that the nation newspaper published the exact 2016 story and published it on their online in January 2020 and it started trending.
“Then the church decided not to be quite because it is defamation of character and wrong information, to the society that it happened then.
“The church and its legal department has taken it up to tell the nation newspaper that the story is false. We have been waiting from 2016 till now for those behind it to come out.
“If I was arrested as alleged, to which police station or which Investigation Police officer (IPO is handling the case?
“Till now we did not see anything.
Esezobor said that the false report had not only affected him and his family but also his ministry. “I cannot travel, I cannot do anything because people are looking at me as someone who killed somebody.
“My family have lived with the pain, I have lost church members. People no longer have faith in me. If there is someone who knows anybody who died in Fire House, come out and say it. Nobody has come out.
“Now, because some people did not want the church of God to move on, they now bring up a matter that is died.
“NTA and police verified it. You did not investigate from them, you just went and brought out the story, for what purpose?