The Enugu state police command has locked up the Mount Street Parish of Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria after two pastors and their loyalists engaged in a free-for-all fight.
The two pastors and their supporters fought over who should take control of the parish.
Apparently there has been an ongoing crisis in the church for more than three years as two persons, Professor Paul Emeka and Dr. Chidi Okoroafor are each laying claims to the leadership of the church, a position known as General Superintendent, a matter that is currently before the Supreme Court, Vanguard reports.
The drama was said to have started on Sunday, July 19, when one of the pastors, Rev. Nathaniel Udeze, came with letters of posting and other court documents as part of preparations to be installed as the new pastor at the parish.
According to him, he had been officially posted there by the leadership of the church under Rev. Paul Emeka, adding that Rev. Amaechi Agbo had been transferred to another parish since May 2015.
He was however resisted by Rev, Agbo and his supporters, who accused him of being an intruder and vowed not to allow him take over.
The trouble degenerated when supporters of both pastors arrived and started sharing different versions of Sunday school manual in preparation for the main service.
Both pastors threw caution to the wind and reportedly started shoving each other and their supporters followed suit, engaging in fisticuffs.
The police had to be called to restore order. On arrival, the divisional police officer, Dennis Ayara tried to calm the warring parties but all his efforts to bring the situation under control proved futile.
The led to the eventual shutdown of the church premises as the police cordoned off the place and put it under lock, while the leaders of the two factions were asked to report to the station.