Some followers of a Nigerian pastor who is standing trial for defrauding his church member have attacked journalists who tried to take pictures of him at the court premises.
Pastor Kingsley Abiekunogho, founder of “God is Able Mega Fire Ministry,” at Opolo, Yenagoa, in Bayelsa State, was alleged to have used false pretenses to secure a Toyota sport utility vehicle and N20,000 (about US$55) from the complainant and one of his church members, to whom he promised “financial and spiritual breakthroughs.”
On April 4, 2018, the pastor made his appearance in court and was swarmed over by reporters who tried to take pictures of him soon after he got out of the Magistrates Court. He however did not take kindly to the media attention and ordered his church members, who were in court to show solidarity with him, to beat up the journalists.
The faithfuls, numbering about 100, physically attacked the journalists, while others tried to shield the pastor from the camera lens. A couple of journalists were injured while the camera of the correspondent of TV Continental was damaged in the fray. Reports say it took the intervention of the police to bring the fray under control.
The MFWA condemns the attack on the journalists and urge the police to hold pastor Abiekunogho personally responsible for assault and damage inflicted by his followers