A Pentecostal sect, the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries (MFM), its General Overseer, Daniel Olukoya, as well as its trustees have been joined in a suit claiming the church illegally demolished a landed property and forcibly evicted its residents in defiance of a court ruling.
The demolished property was located at 6th Avenue, Plot 2, Prayer City, Lagos/Ibadan Expressway, Magboro, Ibafo, Ogun State.
The plaintiffs identified a certain Pastor Frederick Olubunmi Alewi as the person who carried out the demolition on behalf of the church. SaharaReporters learned that Mr. Alewi disclosed that he obeyed the instructions of his “spiritual father,” Pastor Olukoya, in flouting a court order which had earlier asked for all parties to maintain the status quo while the case was heard by a judge.
On June 20, 2012, Justice Olarewaju Mabekoje of the Ogun State High Court had issued an injunction ordering both the church and the inhabitant of the disputed property, Mr. Oshodi, to maintain the status quo pending the court’s final determination. However, Mr. Alewi reportedly flouted the order when he supervised the demolition of the property from December 4 to 6.
The affected resident said the property was worth several millions. He is demanding that the church pay him N29.6 million as the value of the demolished structure. Mr. Oshodi has also accused members of the church of making threats on his life.
In the suit, the displaced resident is also seeking a perpetual injunction barring the church or its agents from any further actions on the land.
Meanwhile, court bailiffs have also complained that, ever since the property was demolished by the church, Pastor Alewi had prevented them from serving him papers.
One of the court bailiffs, Mr. Adesanya, said he made two visits in January to Pastor Alewi’s residence located at House 10, 1st Avenue, Prayer City as well as his office at the administrative department of the church, but was evaded.
The prosecutor stated that Mr. Alewi had instructed the church’s security staff not to allow the bailiff access to his office.
The court adjourned to June 3, 2013 for resumption of the lawsuit.