The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Thursday slammed the police for arresting Uche Nwosu, the son-in-law of Senator Rochas Okorocha, inside the Anglican Church premises in Imo State.
It described the incident as horrendous and disgraceful.
Nwosu had compared his arrest to a mini-war situation, saying it was a miracle that a bullet did not hit clergymen or worshippers as shots were allegedly fired inside the church.
CAN, in a statement by the Media Assistant to its president, Samson Ayokunle, said: “We feel highly embarrassed by this ugly development and feel pained that the Nigeria Police had no respect even for the House of God.
“We cannot remember whether this act of disrespect for God ever happened before in our country.
“The Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) has nothing to apologise for over what the police did because we were never and would never be a party to their horrendous act.
“The police that did the disgraceful thing should appropriately apologise without giving any excuse. We expect them to be more circumspect in the performance of their duties.
“We are not asking the Police or the security agencies not to do their constitutional duties but the idea of desecrating the House of God in doing so is totally unacceptable, unfortunate and reprehensible.”
CAN urge the Inspector General of Police (IGP), Usman Baba, to call his men to order and continue to respect all houses of worship, whether church or mosque.
“This type of act should never happen again in our country,” the Christian body said.
Nwosu, a former governorship candidate in Imo, had Monday said his arrest in the church was like “war”.
He said the security agents who came for him fired gunshots inside the church.
According to him, it was a miracle that a stray bullet did not hit someone.
Nwosu said worshippers and clergymen took to their heels when the security men stormed the church.
The incident occured on Sunday during the Outing Service in honour of his late mother, Jamaimah Nwosu at the St. Peter’s Anglican Church, Eziama-Obaire in Nkwerre Council Area of Imo State.
Nwosu, a former Action Alliance (AA) governorship candidate, is the son-in-law of former Governor Rochas Okorocha, now a Senator.
Reliving his experience to reporters in Abuja, he said: “While the Service was still going on, some heavily armed security men invaded the church from different doors.
“While some went straight to the altar, others were walking from one line of pew to the other.
“Some of them walked up to me and said I should get up and follow them or they will blow off my head.
“I demanded to know who they were and where they are taking me.
“They started dragging me. All this while they were still shooting and everyone in the church was scampering for safety.
“It was like a war. They kept shooting inside the church and everybody was running in different directions.
“I was just an act of God that stray bullet didn’t hit any of the clergymen because they were firing straight at the altar where most of them were seated.
“After they dragged me from the church into the car, they drove off.
“When we got to Owerri, three of the cars drove into the Government House and they drove me in one of the cars to Enugu.
“On the way, they stopped after one of them answered a phone call and said Shafa, who is the Chief Security Officer (CSO) to the governor, asked them to get my pictures.
“They tore my clothes and took my pictures with a handcuff and sent to the CSO.
“After that they drove me straight to Enugu Airport, where a chartered private jet was waiting and they flew me straight to Abuja.
“It was at Abuja that it was discovered that the Police hierarchy was not aware of the operation.
“It was purely planned and hatched at the Imo Government House.
“I was not invited by the Police or any other security agency before my abduction at the Church.”
Nwosu praised church leaders, members and youths in Imo for remaining calm.
He urged them not to take laws into their hands.
He hopes that those responsible will be brought to book.