A pastor of the Celestial Church of Christ, Johnson Dominic, has been hospitalised after his alleged torture by an Assistant Commissioner of Police (ACP), Dr Emmanuel Eze, in Onosa community in Ibeju Lekki area of Lagos.
Pastor Johnson, who is the head of the CCC, New Jerusalem Parish, Onosa Avenue, was allegedly brutalised around 5pm on Tuesday by the ACP and his aides, who came to the area in a jeep.
Eze is the ACP in-charge of Medicals in Bayelsa State Police Command. So why Lagos?
Pastor Johnson, a father of three, said that he was assaulted on the premises of his church because he refused to pay up some money, which he owed the ACP, who had some plots of land in the area.
The pastor was said to have bought one of the plots of land for N1.2m, but the APC Eze demanded more money [later].
Pastor Johnson, who sustained injuries in the chest and head, was rushed to a private hospital in the Jakande, Lekki Phase 1 area, where he had been admitted.
The 44-year-old pastor told Punch that the ACP and three of his aides dragged him on the floor and slapped him several times, accusing him of being rude to the police boss.
He said, “It was around 5pm that the ACP and his men came to my church. I was attending to some people, who came for prayers.
“He came to inspect his land. We had known each other for some years. The ACP bought 16 plots of land beside my church and he had always asked me to monitor them for him. I asked him to remove his shoes because he was on the church premises [Holy ground area]. He got angry and he slapped me. His aides dragged me on the floor. They beat me until I became unconscious. That was how I found myself in this hospital.”
When contacted, ACP Eze claimed that he did not beat Pastor Johnson, but the pastor slumped because he had been fasting for two days and eating only fruits.
He claimed he’s a humane police officer, who respected human rights, saying there was an argument when he went to inspect his plots of land in the area on Tuesday, but no physical assault.
He said, “I am a medical doctor. I do not carry arms and I do not violate people’s rights. Honestly speaking, Johnson is my good friend. He has been helping me to look after some plots of land I have in the area.
“My problem with him started when he supplied me some concrete blocks and someone later told me that he had been shortchanging me.
“Instead of 1,500 concrete blocks that I ordered for, he brought 1,200 blocks. When I came in yesterday (Tuesday), I told him that my wife was coming to farm on the plots of land.
“He did not like that idea. I also asked for 100 rods I kept with him. He said they remained 91 rods. So, an argument started.
“I did not come with any aide. I had three pastors and my driver in the jeep. I do not like civilians to be molested. When I came in with the pastors, he asked us to remove our shoes. So I stood outside.
“While we were arguing about the rods, nobody pushed anybody. We were just arguing. He just slumped and became unconscious. It was a fierce argument. I was told he had been fasting for two days.
He had earlier threatened that he was going to kill me. I was the one who rushed him to a hospital and paid for his bills. It is not true that I beat him up. I am a responsible police officer.”