Kogi State Government has sealed a church, New Jerusalem Deliverance Ministry, located in Ageva, Okene Local Government Area of the state for alleged unwholesome practices.
It was reported that the pastor of the church, Adeiza Peter was arrested over allegations of running labour wards for pregnant women in his church and selling “bulletproof” water to the people.
Adeiza, a music artist turned Pastor is said to have been operating the church since the year 2008.
He is currently being investigated by the police for criminal activities ranging from fraud, use of his prayer house for medical quackery, by taking deliveries and also running a psychiatric services even when it has been discovered he has no medical training.
Over 100 people mainly young women who claimed they came for prayer and had been spent months at the place, including others mentally unstable placed under chains were moved out of the prayer house at the time it was sealed on Monday afternoon, September 26, 2022.
The state government delegation comprising, the commissioner for Information and Communication, Hon. Kingsley Fanwo, his counterpart in health, Dr Zakari Usman, the State Security Adviser and Navy Commander Jerry Omodara(rtd) supervised the enforcement of Governor Yahaya Bello’s directive.
It was gathered that a number of deaths have been recorded at the prayer house, including pregnant women and others suffering from various ailments, after charging their relatives huge sum of money.
His supposed assistant, Eneji Seidu, from Adogo, Ajaokuta Local Government Area of Kogi State, said the Pastor who was a musical artist before he received a call to be a Pastor has been his close friend, noting that he is a true man of God who have been called to help those in need.
He admitted that people receives medical attention at the Church, but denied knowledge of deaths of sick people at the prayer house, saying God had used the Pastor to heal many who comes with challenges.
Speaking with newsmen, Commissioner for Information and Communication, Kingsley Fanwo, said the Governor had directed the place be sealed up following the discovery of ungodly activities by the Pastor.
He described the acts of the Pastor as fraudulent, saying his hypnotized members would be rehabilitated and reintegrated with their families, noting that there would serious sensitization for people to desist from patronizing quacks while assessing healthcare.
On his part, Commissioner for Health, Dr Zakari Usman, said the Pastor does not have any medical training, but regrettably taking deliveries and transfusing blood, as well as keeping people with mental illness, and extorting money from them under the guise of spiritual materials.
He said the action was not a witch hunt on the ground of the spiritual activities by the Church, but to carry out the directive of the Governor to seal up the place which was being used for quackery resulting in deaths of pregnant women, babies and others, saying the state government has made huge investment in ensuring healthcare is accessible and affordable to Kogi residents.
The State Security Adviser, Omodara said the Pastor had earlier been arrested following a preliminary investigation by the State Investigation Bureau of the Nigeria Police and the Department of State Services.
Omodara added that there is enough documented evidence to show that what they practice is contrary to both religious and medical practices.
“In a couple of days, he will be arraigned in court and will be prosecuted if found guilty.” he said.
Meanwhile, members and worshippers confirmed that they have been receiving treatments for different ailments from the self-acclaimed Man of God.
One Mary Oyiza, who was chained claimed that she had a terminal disease and got recovered after she was given anointed water by the pastor. She added that she was chained by an agent of the pastor after she recovered from her illness.
Yunusa Sanusi, a member of the community said his wife was invited to the church as a result of an internal disease that was threatening her life but she lost her life afterwards.
“The pastor called me to come and pay for blood transfusion and I paid over thirteen thousand naira but he didn’t do anything. It took the intervention of the community before the pastor could release the corpse of my wife to me.”