THE LONG drawn legal battle
in the Assembly of God Church
over the sacking of its General
Superintendent, Pastor (Prof) Paul
Emeka was last week resolved in
favour of the Church by the Supreme
Court.
The apex court dismissed the
appeal brought before it by the exGeneral
Superintendent and pastor

on
the
ground
that his
case
lacked

merit
and substance.
In
the lead judgment delivered

by
Justice Kudirat Kekere-Ekun,

the
court held that it was wrong

of
Pastor Emeka to have instituted

an
action on the enforcement
of

his
fundamental human right to

association
in a matter involving

the
Church
as a non-governmental

organization.
Justice
Kekere-Ekun
said
that
the

provision
of
fundamental human

right
as enshrined in section 36 of

the
1999 constitution did not cover

a
Pastor sacked and expelled by a

church.
“Being
a
pastor,
General

Superintendent
and member of a

church
is
not a
fundamental
right
as

envisaged
in the 1999 constitution.

The
remedy
for the removal
of

the
appellant as a pastor,
General

Superintendent
and a member of

the
respondent
does not fall within

section
36 because the right to be a

pastor
is not a constitutional one”
Besides,
the apex court in the

unanimous
judgment agreed

that
the appellant failed to serve

the
originating summon on the

respondents
as required
by law.
Specifically,

the Supreme Court
held that it was wrong of the
appellant to have at the trial level,
served his originating summon on
No. 5, Mbalano Street Enugu, in
Enugu State when the order of the
Enugu High court was so specific
and categorical  that the court process
must be served on Evangel House of
the Church in Enugu.
The apex court held that the case
of wrongful service of originating
summon was made clear in an
affidavit deposed to by a court bailiff
in Enugu that he served originating
summon on one Shadrack Lawrence
through one Richard Ake when the
Enugu High Court ordered that
the summon must be taken to the
Evangel House of the Church.
The court said that in the eyes of
the law, the originating summon
was not served on the appropriate
party as required by law, hence
the respondent cannot be held
liable since the issue of service is a
fundamental one in law.
The apex court therefore dismissed
the appeal for lacking in merit.
The appellant had sued the General
Council of the Assembly of God
Church seeking enforcement of his
fundamental right to membership of
the church, its pastoral and General
Superintendent.
Now that the leadership crises
rocking the church has been laid
to rest, can the operatives of the
Nigerian Police Force do the
needful by creating the enabling
environment for the leadership of the
church to take full charge and control
of both the church and it’s property?


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