Two pastors, Johnson Ogundipe Johnson and Joshua Adeuyi, were, on Monday, arraigned before an Ado-Ekiti Magistrates’ Court for allegedly conducting a religious gathering of more than 20 persons on Sunday.
The State Prosecutor, Mr Femi Onipede, told the court that the two pastors committed the offence on April 26, between 6 am. and 8 am. at C.A.C, Oke-Ayo, Ifelere layout, Balemo Quarters in Ado-Ekiti.
He said that the pastors were arraigned on a three-count charge of conducting a religious gathering of more than 20 persons.
Onipede said that the defendants violated a lawful order, contrary to and punishable under Section 203 of the Criminal Code, Law Cap C16, Laws of Ekiti State.
He told the court that the clerics were arrested during the monitoring by security operatives, as directed by the state government, to curb the spread the CONVID-19 pandemic in the state.
The prosecutor said they also violated the provisions of Regulation 2(1) (b) punishable under Regulation 12 of the Ekiti State Coronavirus (prevention of infection) Regulation, 2020, made pursuant to Section 8 of the Quarantine Act, Cap Q2 LFN, 2004.
The News Agency of Nigeria reports that while Ogundipe pleaded guilty to the charges, Adeuyi, however, told the court that he was not around when the security operatives came to arrest his fellow pastor.
The Magistrate, Mr Lanre Owoleso, consequently convicted Ogundipe and ordered him to pay a fine of N150, 000 on the three-count charge, while Adeuyi was discharged for not being aware of the gathering.
Owoleso ordered that the church be sealed off and that the pastor should provide the contact list of the church members who attended the service.
Edited By: Abiodun Esan and (NAN)‘Wale Sadeeq