The pastor of Truth and The Spirit Prophetic Church in Lagos state, Mercy Okoch, 50, and nine of her church members have been arrested for allegedly stoning a 25-year-old traditional worshipper, Agboola Akeem, to death during a clash on Tuesday, August 23 at about 6.30pm.
officers attached to the Oko Oba Police Division received a distress call that the church located at Number 2 Sanni Taiwo Lawal street in Oko Oba, was about to be set ablaze. The officers immediately stormed the church premises.
Preliminary investigation showed that the traditional worshippers were celebrating their Oro festival while the church members were having a church service. The traditional worshippers allegedly invaded the church premises and asked the church members to discontinue their service.
Oro Festival is an annual traditional festival only celebrated by male descendants who are paternal natives to the specific locations where the event is taking place. During the festival, females, and non-natives are mandated to stay indoors as oral history has it that Orò must not be seen by women and non-participating people .
According to the police source, a shouting match ensued between the traditional worshippers and the church members and this degenerated into a fight. In the process, one of the traditional worshippers was allegedly stoned to death. This caused a rage among the other traditional worshippers who vowed to burn down the church.
The police were able to quell the tension and evacuated the body of the deceased and deposited it in the morgue. The pastor and nine members of the church are now in police custody.