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Reuben Abati: Rev. King, the Law & King’s Supporters



Reuben Abati - Bella NaijaIn the case of the State and Rev. Chukwuemeka Kingsley Ezeugo, the Supreme Court a few days ago, upheld the rulings of the lower courts and ruled that the bearded, self-styled “little god”, “Jesus Christ of our time”, and founder of the Lagos-based Christian Praying Assembly (CPA), deserves to be hanged, for enacting a form of horror movie which resulted in the death in 2006 of Ms Ann Uzoh.  The simple import of that ruling is that no man is a king before the law, and that the law is no respecter of persons including those who describe themselves as anointed men of God, and who on that account use religion to commit atrocities.

But the most bizarre development since that ruling last Friday has been the intervention of a group called the Ndigbo Cultural Society of Nigeria (NCSN).  The group says Nigeria has nothing to gain by shedding Rev. King’s blood and that President Muhammadu Buhari should grant the convicted murderer state pardon because “he is still a spiritual leader to many Nigerians.” The Ndigbo Society is indirectly saying that Rev King’s life should be spared because he is Igbo, and a religious leader. This is nothing but arrant nonsense. It makes us wonder what happens to people’s heads once they are in the grips of the disease of ethnicism. Has anyone told the Ndigbo Cultural Society that Rev. King’s victim, Ann Uzoh, was also Igbo? Or is Emeka Ezeugo’s Igbo life more important than that of Ann Uzoh? Or the lives of the others: Jessica Nwene, Kosiso Ezenwankwo, Chiejina Olisa, Chizoba Onuora, Vivian and Uche?

We keep encountering this kind of absurdity. Crime is excused on the grounds of ethnic affiliation. My-brother-can-do-no-wrong-once-we-are-from-the-same-village: and it is this that has created a web of conspiracy whenever and wherever the ethnic game is at play, and that conspiracy is against the state and decent values of national togetherness. But we thank God for the courts of law, which in this case have brought the Rev. King saga to a closure.  And please note that if the victim in this case had been of non-Igbo extraction, perhaps the Ndigbo Cultural Society would have been more strident with their appeal. They’d do well to keep quiet and not further insult the memory of the dead.

They are right on one score though: that Rev King is still a religious leader to many Nigerians. It is one of those funny things about the scope and spread of superstition and religious fanaticism in Nigeria that there are indeed persons who worship their fellow human beings and turn them into their gods. It is precisely this same form of delusion that led to the crime that is taking Rev. King to the gallows in the first place.

It is why he still has followers who believe that the Supreme Court ruling is a joke and that  “Rev. King is superhuman, he can’t be killed by mere mortals”.  Members of the Christian Praying Assembly are still reportedly awaiting the return of the man they call “His Holiness”.  One Sunny, acting as their spokesman, says: “His Holiness cannot be killed. He is more than a mere human being and cannot be killed by any mortal…He will come back home at the appointed time and by then, the people behind this whole thing will bury their heads in shame…”  These characters imagine that the people who will bury their heads in shame include the Justices of the Supreme Court?

Apart from ethnicity, religion is another major source of crisis in Nigeria. It turns people’s heads, turns them into zombies and forces them, in many cases to worship man instead of God.  Across the country, every day, there are millions who have turned religious leaders including herbalists into “Little gods”. Among Christians and Muslims, widespread confusion over the interpretation of the doctrine has created such complexity that continues to lead people astray. Poverty and the scarcity of opportunities continue to drive people to places of imagined salvation. The pastors promise miracles: they not only preach the gospel, they claim all kinds of powers including the power to make the blind see, to make the lame walk, and to help the unmarried find husbands and wives. Some of the pastors add a touch of the melodramatic to it: they give out clothes, cars, houses, and free food.

But it is the people’s money being recycled and given back as token. The lifestyle of many of the religious leaders would make the Pope cringe.  They preach salvation and divine protection, for example, but they live as if they are afraid of their own shadows. The poor members of the congregation relate with the anointed man of God from a distance because they are not rich enough to get close to him, but from the pittance that they manage to make, they contribute tithes unfailingly, to make the man of God and his family live it up and boast that their “Lord is Good!”

The more stylish a religious leader is, the more popular. And some have even gone from being stylish to being practically unusual. There are churches where the Pastors slap, beat, and kick members. In some other places of worship, the Pastors are reportedly romantically involved with female members of the congregation, including married women.  There is freedom of religion and freedom of worship and association and so, anyone can call himself a Reverend, a Prophet, a Spiritualist or God’s Deputy, erect a tent and turn himself into some people’s God. Rev King actually lived like that, like a mini-God. He built a large cult-like followership and exercised near-absolute powers over his besotted followers.  Ann Uzoh was one of his victims. Sometime, in 2006, he had set her and six other members of the church ablaze for allegedly committing fornication, witchcraft and other offences. He sat in judgment in his own court and issued a death sentence. Ann and other ladies in church were Rev. King’s sex slaves, and according to one account it was the rivalry between Ann and another sex slave that led to the dousing of Ann and others with petrol, their being set ablaze, and Ann’s death.

Ann Uzoh is better remembered as one of those promising young Nigerians whose life was derailed by religious hypnotism.  Young ladies who are still today selling themselves to churches and pastors should be reminded of her story and there is no better person to offer a reminder than the father of Ann Uzoh, Mr. Raphael Uzoh. In 2006, the Nigerian Tribune (August 9, 2006) interviewed him and reported, in part, as follows:

The decision of Miss Uzoh, a Higher National Diploma graduate in Accountancy from the Institute of Management and Technology, Enugu State, to pack out of her parents’ house at the period without telling anybody, was said to have shocked everyone. According to the father of the deceased, during a chat with Mid-week Tribune, when he could no longer withstand the pressure being mounted on him by his daughters suitors who had sought her hands in marriage, shortly before she eloped with Rev King, he began the search for her until he was informed by some concerned family members that she had been sighted at the Christian Prayer Assembly belonging to the suspect.

    “To my surprise, when I got there, based on the instruction of Rev. King to my daughter, I was told by some insiders that my daughter had changed her name to Ann King. And she told me that I was not her father, that she had started bearing Ann King, said Mr. Raphael Uzoh. He stated that despite this strange behaviour by his daughter and her unusual and sudden rudeness to him, he did not relent in trying to re-assure her that she was still welcome at home if she could still change her mind and come to her senses. Rather, he expressed regrets that his late daughter who was his first child remained adamant and unrepentant.

    “However, the bereaved father, in tears, noted that sometime on Saturday, July 22, 2006 at the church’s premises, the accused person was said to have called the deceased and some other five members of the church into his residence and leveled some accusations against the worshippers who saw him as a little god. Mr Uzoh, now left with two children, said he learnt that once anyone was summoned by the pastor, that person, out of fear, must kneel down before the pastor, no matter how old he or she might be. There and then, the suspect was said to have passed death sentence on the girls for perceived fornication and witchcraft. He ordered for fuel and it was brought to him by one Kelechi because the first gallon of fuel brought by the accused person to sprinkle on the unfortunate worshippers was not enough, he recalled.”

That is not the end of the story. Mr. Raphael Uzoh, while trying to rescue his daughter, was ordered to join Rev. King’s church. He did and was given the assignment of lacing Rev. King’s shoes (!). Rev. King definitely lived like a king, and here are some of his followers still insisting that the hangman cannot kill him, even after the Supreme Court had spoken. It won’t be long before they start claiming that he will resurrect!  But what on earth could have turned a graduate of Accountancy into a willing sex slave in a church?  Unemployment?  We need to worry seriously and do something about the growing hordes of young men and women who have turned themselves into slaves of churches, other religious groups, pastors and clerics.  Nigeria is losing too much talent and national productivity time to places of religious worship. It is sad that political leaders also patronize these haunts and their managers. Nigeria has become one big theatre of religious ritual. The name of God is the most abused name in Nigeria today. The resultant tragedy and hypocrisy are astonishing.

For now, we can only hope, that all the religious leaders who use religion as a vehicle of abuse will learn the appropriate lessons from the saga of Rev. Chukwuemeka Kingsley Ezeugo a.k.a. Rev. King. And I am not in any way saying all clerics are bad; but that the likes of Rev. King bring the calling to disrepute and sadly, their population seems to be increasing. Rev King has had his day in court. The law has taken its course. Now, let justice be done according to the existing law, even if the heavens fall, quake or wail.


  1. ElessarisElendil

    February 28, 2016 at 7:55 am

    “The group says Nigeria has nothing to gain by shedding Rev. King’s blood and that President Muhammadu Buhari should grant the convicted murderer state pardon because “he is still a spiritual leader to many Nigerians.”

    “The Ndigbo Society is indirectly saying that Rev King’s life should be spared because he is Igbo, and a religious leader.”: Oga, please which one is indirectly??? They directly said nothing about him being Igbo…………..leave my people out of this.

    “There are churches where the Pastors slap, beat, and kick members.” ???????Winners chapel members, I believe this shade is yours.

    “It is sad that political leaders also patronize these haunts and their managers.”:????? I really hate to be that guy……..but…….when you oga was doing it, you didn’t talk ohh.

    • kim

      February 28, 2016 at 11:22 am

      Winners ke? Please which one do u attend?

    • Doxa

      February 28, 2016 at 3:33 pm

      He is Roman Catholic.

    • ogeAdiro

      February 28, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Ashi! You really enjoy to be that guy.

    • chukwudi

      February 28, 2016 at 10:50 pm

      @elendil, people like u are d problem we ave in 9ja, yes its bcos he’s ibo dats y d so called group came out, if not dy wudnt, as a country unless we stop dis ethnicity foolishness we are doomeed, and people like u ar y ndigbos like us are hated, grow up.

    • ElessarisElendil

      February 28, 2016 at 11:24 pm

      Dear Chukwudi, I have no idea where you got tribalism from my statement. Show me where the group directly stated they were intervening on King’s behalf because of his tribe?? Show me the direct quote.

      Left to me I’d say a problem with comprehension is a bigger problem than ethnicity, but…………….

    • Ch

      March 1, 2016 at 11:16 am

      @ElessarisElendil, you actually have the comprehension problem. Agreed, it’s not stated that cos he is igbo, he should be pardoned but the mere fact that an Ndigbo group called for the pardon is the link you have refused to see. If not, why wasn’t it Afenifere or Arewa group asking for his release? Let’s be objective in our criticisms.

  2. Papaadex

    February 28, 2016 at 8:20 am

    This is a good article . When you are in government ,do yo advocate for youth empowerment ? Are you friends and political affiliates to those who turned our economy problems to spiritual ? This is a nation you help them built .

  3. Kaeto

    February 28, 2016 at 8:21 am

    Oga has spoken. Even the way people run to that pastor E.A adeboye. Please stop it, some people will now start saying until he lays a course on you, please please he is never and will never be God. No where in my bible states that his greater than me. I was in church the other day and the way this man said, Something like “If pastors from your local church lay a cause on you, I can revoke it but if I lay causes on you, you better run for forgiveness”…. See the way people worship pastors, idolizing them, you will be wondering who’s the God. No wonder more and more people run away from God and church. Man is man I don’t care if you dey claim pastor.

    • ElessarisElendil

      February 28, 2016 at 9:17 am

      Personally I find it funny that protestants are now the ones acting like pre counter reformation Catholics. If only Luther, Calvin and co could see them now.

  4. Ade_suwa

    February 28, 2016 at 9:54 am

    I tiya @ElessarisElendil, if only Luther could see happenings of today. 🙁

  5. kim

    February 28, 2016 at 11:19 am

    Salvation is personal. Don’t Look At this terrible situation n thInk all protestants Are d same. Go to church n worship God and not d pastor. May God give us understanding n wisdom of his word.

  6. Tolu

    February 28, 2016 at 12:40 pm

    There might be a special heaven for Nigerians sha because our own too much. People exploiting each other using God’s name and making slaves out of their members. Don’t be surprised if you find your G.O in this same hell with you though because there will be surprises in heaven.

  7. Tee

    February 28, 2016 at 12:49 pm

    @Keato, well said this is the main problem with our nation everything is seen from religious perspective, people seem to have lost their reasoning faculty, these churches are mainly cult centers, imagine a pastor saying he would lay curse on people that can not be revoked, is he God? they operate by instilling fear in their congregation and performing stage managed miracles. these churches are now usurping the function of the state recently i read they are now going to be constructing bridges and roads and you know the implication of that in Nigeria; there is good evidence abound that clearly suggest that many so called pastors and prophets have colluded with politicians to loot the commonwealth of Nigeria, Few days back the VP’s wife was asking Nigerians to pray to avoid economic hardship, have you hard of Obama’s wife asking people to pray,? instead of using their position to emancipate people and provide functioning amenities they continue to keep us in bondage so as not to challenge their incompetence. The only way forward is to regulate these ‘churches’ and vet anyone vying to become a pastor that way it will be more difficult to perpetrate the atrocities we are witnessing. Gov El-Rufai is trying to achieve just that with his bill on religion issues.

    • [email protected]

      February 28, 2016 at 2:18 pm

      Please pardon me “curse”. Walahi I have not used the word in a sentence in a very longgggg time…

  8. edna

    February 29, 2016 at 2:26 am

    I personally think that the issue of Rev.King should be handle with caution.To avoid wasting of Innocent blood.If Ann Uzu the deceased has written 2 statement stating that Rev King was not at the scene of the incident then why is this man suffering in the prison? Even when his counsel Ojo stated clearly that His client was not at the scene of the incident,the trial judge Justice Oyewole refused to admit Ann statement which exonorated Rev King.I think something is wrong somewhere.Our President should look into this matter to avoid wasting of Innocent blood..

  9. whoever

    February 29, 2016 at 9:24 am

    I will get to it straight
    Any Religion that preaches violence is wrong religion. Do only that will give you a free conscience, its not like you’ll get out of Life Alive.
    Let’s put aside our ethnic or religious views and focus on the subject matter “Guilty or not Guilty”
    If the courts find him guilty, that’s done!
    There’s a need for individuals to find the truth about whichever religion hthey belong by themselves and ITS NOT EVERYTHING SPIRITUAL LEADERS SAY THAT MUST BE TAKEN HOOK LINE AND SINKER.
    If the president wants to look into it, fine, if not, fine.
    The issue in the world today is Doctrinal Extremism. Live at peace with all and sundry, have a free conscience and do good.

    God bless Nigeria, in your own corner love your neighbor and serve God without walls

  10. Andrew

    March 1, 2016 at 6:53 am

    “Ojo argued that his client did not commit the crime and was not at the scene of the incident. He insisted that the deceased, Ann Uzoh, had in two statements she made after the incident and before her death, stated that she got burnt in a generator accident and that the cleric was not responsible for her injuries.
    “Ojo said the Investigating Police Officer, IPO, had tendered statements which stated that Ezeugo was not responsible for the burns that led to Uzoh’s death. He alleged that the trial Judge refused to admit in evidence, the statements he said exonerated Ezeugo of the crime.
    “The lawyer further contended had those ‘vital exhibits’ been admitted rather than expunged by the trial judge, they would have operated to cast serious doubt on the case of the prosecution. He maintained that Justice Oyewole’s refusal to admit the exhibits in evidence ‘occasioned a great miscarriage of justice” The above statement shows that REV. KING is hundred percent innocent. Yes this is a miscarriage of justice… And this is absolute conspiracy against an innocent man of God. The evidence is so clear that Rev. King is absolutely innocent. Nigeria let call a spade a spade, we know too well that so many innocent people have died; because of injustice in this country. This is time to come together and fight against injustice in this country.Let President Grant Rev King presidential pardon

  11. Celeste

    March 1, 2016 at 10:45 am

    But there were witnesses that said rev. king actually set them on fire which eventually led to the victim’s death. Forget her statement, the deceased may have been so brain washed and hypnotized that she is grateful to die in the hands of her “lord, god, righteous, holiness” rev. king

    • jeks

      March 3, 2016 at 2:40 am

      If u were been framed won’t there be witnesses? Will that now make it true? More over it doesn’t add ur for someone to escape from fire when soaked with 50 liters of petrol as they said omo this an inflammable liquid we are talking about and there was scorch mark at crime neither did the cars burn. From day one of this case any unbiased mind will see through it

  12. Udoka Nwanjor

    March 1, 2016 at 4:23 pm

    The case for which Rev. King was sentenced to death was a sheer frame up. If the trials were not an arrangie-trial, tell me how the contradicting accounts of the incident by prosecution witnesses would have passed undisturbed through both the Appeal and Supreme Courts. The deceased; Ann Uzuh was NOT a maid to Rev. King as was widely reported. First, Ann and her father-unil the fire incident that took her life, were members of Rev. King’s church who had no words to thank Rev. King for what he was doing in their lives and their family. Ann Uzuh was one of the thousands who were studying under Rev. Kings scholarship. An announcement was made by the church at a certain time publicizing a job opportunity for men and women who are interested in working at the church quarters where King lived. Scores of members of the church applied including Ann and luckily, she succeeded as one of those who were employed. These employees of the church lived at a section quite different from where Rev. King lived. They lived at the boys quarters while king lived ALONE at the main building. On that fateful Saturday evening, 25th Day of July, 2006, King returned home from work and there was no light in the neighborhood due to power outage from the then NEPA. He immediately alighted from his car and moved up the stairs waiting for the workers to put on the generating set so he can move into his room. He had barely undressed before there came a loud cry and shout down stairs and he quickly rushed down the stairs again to find out what was going on only to see Ann covered in flames. At this time, her co-workers were all standing a distance away from her just watching without doing anything to help her. Rev. King himself rushed towards Ann, dared the fire on her, stretched his hand and caught Ann by her clothes, dragged her down on a tap right on the wall beside him and turned on the tap which helped put of the fire. At this time, Ann had already stopped breathing. King instantly revived her, poured oil on her burnt before asking Ann’s co-workers what happened to her. Surprisingly, no one uttered a word. Rev. King drove out his car, carried Ann by himself into his car, and drove her to Faith City Hospital in Ajao Estate, Lagos, asked the hospital to take care of her and also got a member of the church to take care of her while she takes treatment. Rev. King that night, also instructed that a formal report be made to the Police before he left for home. When he got home, surprisingly also, there was no one to open the gates for him, he opened the gates himself and drove into the house only to discover that the workers had all packed their belongings and left the church quarters. The next time he saw some of them were on TV where they were telling the world that Rev. King poured petrol on them and set them on fire.

  13. Udoka Nwanjor

    March 1, 2016 at 4:45 pm

    While Ann Uzuh was in the hospital, she made statements to the police both on paper and on tape. By this time, Rev. king had been arrested. In her statement, Ann stated how she was burnt by a fire explosion from the gen. set, how she mistakenly tried to top some petrol in the gen. set while it was already steaming and that caused an explosion. She stated categorically that Rev. King was nowhere close to the scene before the explosion. The Faith City Hospital in her statement also confirmed that it was Rev. King who brought Ann Uzuh to the hospital.

  14. Udoka Nwanjor

    March 1, 2016 at 4:57 pm

    I was most surprise that the Police, during Rev. King’s trial at the high Court, managed to move Ann’s statements from the case file. It took Rev. King’s team of lawyers’ foresightedness to exhume the written statement by Ann while till date, there was no trace of the statement made by Ann on tape. It was a show of shame by the Police at the Ikeja High Court on that fateful day, when against the expectation of the police and prosecutors, the written statements made by Ann to the Police on two different occasions surfaced in the court. The Police had no option but confirm to the court, after they were allowed to peruse the documents, that those were truly Ann’s statements and in both occasions, Ann’s statements exonerated Rev. King of any complicity.

  15. Udoka Nwanjor

    March 1, 2016 at 5:17 pm

    Everyone who followed King’s trial at Olubunmi Oyewole’s Court at Ikeja high Court in 2007 were surprised at the reason for which Justice Oyewole refused to admit Ann’s statements even after the Police confirmed that they were Ann’s. This was one of the many flaws of the High Court which both the Appellate and Supreme Courts decided to ignore in a case of murder where the accused person’s life is at stake. I took time to put the records straight to let everyone know that if not for spiritual war against a holy man of God, whom Satan had always seen as his biggest problem on earth to day, there wouldn’t have been this level of bias by judges of all these courts including the writer of this article. Compare Rev. King’s case side by side with what happened during the time of Jesus Christ of Nazareth Our Lord and you will begin to understand that these conspirators represents the Pharisees, the Saducees, the Scribes, Herod, Pontious Pilate, the judas Iscarriot of our time. They, like those I just mentioned, are serious tolls in the hands of Satan. Yet, as Christian, I know that our God works best when the chips are down. I know that God’s power starts where that of men ends. Jehovah El’Shaddai if bigger and far greater than Satan and his workers of wickedness. Rev King didnt hurt anyone and He will come victorious.

  16. Godspower

    March 1, 2016 at 6:55 pm

    Reuben Abati, it is a shame that a journalist of your calibre will condescend to such cheap blackmail, using your column as a media of lies against a man of God. Anyway, i am not surprised because it is no news that everything about you is built on lies which you tell for a living. However, you went too far this time around. You and your highly revered supreme court justices will not only bow your faces in shame but are in for the biggest shocker of your lives!

  17. Godspower

    March 1, 2016 at 7:26 pm

    where in the world is a murder case judged under few months except in Nigeria? Udoka Nwanjo has given given some insight into what happened though not a most accurate one but it still suffices. However, i am not here to appeal to anybodys conscience or sense of reason because a lot of people have tried to do this in the last ten years yet the greater lot of the people are desperately inclined to believe lies. I want to sound a note of warning! The tide of events is about to change, the wind of disaster will definitely blow because God has been patient enough.

  18. Andrew

    March 2, 2016 at 11:43 am

    By what Udoka Nwanjor has narrated, it is so clear that REV. KING is hundred percent innocent. Seriously, President Buhari should look into this matter . Let the President grant REV. KING presidential pardon

  19. Godspower

    March 2, 2016 at 4:42 pm

    Presidential pardon is for someone that is actually guilty of the crime he is accused of. An accused person is innocent until proven guilty but Rev King has not been proved guilty instead he was labelled guilty by supreme court justices whose conscience are vile, devoid of good sense of reason and judgment, who are nothing but effective instruments in the hands of Satan. Unfit in every regard to occupy the highly exalted seat of justice that they are currently seating on. Fools! They have exposed their unkempt and unwashed anuses for the whole world to see. This is how they shed innocent blood and appease their father satan but their end is decreed because no matter how hard you try, darkness can never prevail against light. Rev king has been patient enough with these animals in human skin. For ten whole years this innocent man had suffered gross injustice with absolute display of patience which is a grand virtue of divinity . The rhythm of the music is about to change. The supreme court of Nigeria has given its wicked ruling but they forgot there is a supreme court in heaven. I promise you that you have not heard the last of this case.

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