After a year and some months, the long journey to no where ended fruitless, as the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps, NSCDC eventually withdrew from the suit filed against two pastors; Olumide Peters and Jesulayomi Adetola of Evidence of Christ Chirch in a matter before Magistrate Ibrahim Dasuki.
The Prosecution Counsel, the body language of Barrister Stephen Sadu, who took over from Barrister Ajide had shown the lack of willingness to continue with the suit as he demonstrated at a last sitting on 20th June, 2022, when he sought the termination of precededings. His request led to the adjournment of matters to Monday 27th June, 2022.
As the proceeding commenced on Monday,27th June, Barrister Stephen Sadu, notified the court that an out of court settlement had been reached and that the Principal witness has agreed to put to rest the matter and therefore a termination.
The Presiding Magistrate also sought the view of the defense counsel, Barrister Isijola Oyekanmi and he too stated that all parties had agreed to the settlement out of court and termination of the suit.
Consequently, Magistrate Ibrahim A. Dasuki passed his rulling in which he stated that since the parties in the suit has agreed to terminate the suit filed, the court has no objection than to terminate the suit.
The suit filed by the NSCDC against the two Pastors, Olumide Peter and Jesulayomi Adetola of Evidence of Christ Fellowship International Church before the Ilorin Magistrate Court on charges bothering on criminal conspiracy, unlawful assembly, accepting money from a foreign based organization, wrongful confinement and putting person in fear of injury in order to commit extortion had lingered on since January 2021.
To keen observers, the suit was not necessary and ought not have commenced ab initio based on the sensitive nature of the matters raised in the suit, available evidence vis a vis as some fifth columnists fueling the scenarios, underground, the complicity of some interest parties in the matter and others who were neither parties to the suit not ready to present evidences to buttress accusations against Evidence of Christ or the Pastors that were docked.
In his reaction on the outcome of the judgment, Barrister Oyekanmi Isijola expressed satisfaction at the outcome of the matter adding that all parties have to amicably agree to terminate the matter because it became a time wasting exercise at the expense of both parties.
He reiterated that the court have more serious matters to attend to than matters without substance.
In his reaction the first defendant, Jesulayomi Adetola said though it’s a relief that the petitioners voluntarily withdrew the case, he is not surprised at the out come because he was not guilty as accused.
Adetola lamented “Since the beginning of the case when I appeared in the court brutalized and wounded glaringly, the Magistrate rejected our plea for bail even without any prove of guilt. The suit was frivolous as well as the allegations by the NSCDC.”
The Pastor added that he was sent back for treatment, which he said, should attract sympathy for granting bail in a reasonable court process, but again, it was denied.
The embattled Pastor narrated further “Even when the bail was granted it was strigent and similar to that granted to given to a common or hardened criminal”
It was another tale of woes when the second defendant, Peter Olumide narrated his ordeal when they were arrested. His reaction to the judgment was an expression of regrets that an arm of government could trample on the right of citizens by manipulation the judicial process in such a manner to favour some mischievous elements.
He expressed that he would have kept quiet over the outcome “because God told me that all efforts to truncate the propagation of the gospel will fail and by the judgment, his words has came to pass.”
He added “All issues ranging from the Principal witness, Philip, shielded from giving evidence in court and all parties in the matter demonstrated what God wanted to happen. I am not surprised; God told me the matter would end in efforts in futility because no amount of efforts can be done to suppress the truth.
“Imagine, the effort made to cause the Prosecution that they should present Philip, a Principal witness but they refused to present him. All these are acts against the work of God. They used God given power to surpress the truth. They yielded to the dictates of the evil one.
“I also know that even, the reportage by journalists was almost being sensored. These conspiracies was not against us as children of God but against God himself. Why did God have to reach so far over a matter that is not true.
“Everyone who contributed to what happened to us will pay for it from God. The NSCDC, the Courts and all parties will pay for the attack on children of God. It is not mine to apportion blame or pass judgment, it is God’s duty to judge all the works of men.
“I rest my submission at that but will patiently wait that God’s promised judgment comes speedily so that indeed people will know that indeed his own judgment is more than of men, so that all will know him gradually and show that God is strong and mighty in battle’”
Observing critically, though there is room for redress but if truly Nigerians must continue to see the judiciary as the last hope of the masses, more is expected of this arm of government.
In the words of Barrister Yusuf Ola-Olu Ali, SAN, there are bad eggs in the judiciary but the few bad eggs are not enough for Nigerians to generalize and conclude that the judiciary is bad. Many Nigerians had suffered untold hardship in the hands of security operatives whose overzealousness knows no bounds especially when it comes to issues between the powerful in the country and the so called masses, who in their calculation are helpless and powerless, but despite not passing fault on any quarters, we need to acknowledge that there is a divine, unseen hand that torches on things to happen and makes things to happen and for whom all things happen.
Speaking with several Nigerians on the perception about Judiciary in Nigeria, it is always one tale of being cheated, humiliated and mesmerizing or the other by an arm of government that ought to be custodians of the law but turning law breakers. A people to whom the people should run to but turn out to be the harm of the people.
In his view, the head Pastor at the fellowship, Timothy B. Alabi, “the case between our brethren and the Evidence of Christ Fellowship can be likened to the issue in the Bible between Peter and John in the Acts of Apostle Chapter 4 . In the whole thing, I see God working his miracle and he would perfect it all.”
The complicity of fifth columnists like religious bodies especially the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Kwara State Chapter who were allegedly fueling the matter underground without showing face or any sign of being interest parties. This further tells of the weakness that exist among religious bodies whose “I better pass you” posture cause disaffection within their ranks.
Some churches tend to believe that their call is superior to that of others and therefore they are more acceptable to God than others. Incidentally but it seems right as Karl Marx called religion “the opium of the people.” Religion is inspiration received by man on how to worship his creator and how it is done should not be a matter of competition or strive leading to enmity between the various adherents as to warrant using undue advantage in seeking to suppress other and making themselves an object of ridicule before a people who doesn’t even know God as a Supreme being to human existence.
Nigerian leadership in the views of many is to blame for the ills in the society, because if the leadership is upright in the rule of law, the followers will do same and their will be a just society.