……..court adjourned hearing till July 9
A Federal High Court sitting in Abuja has asked aggrieved members of the crisis torn First Baptist Church, Garki Abuja to finalize moves for reconciliation and reports back on next adjournment date, July 9, 2022.
Justice Egwuatu while adjourning the case for hearing of the report on terms of reconcilation in a suit filed by some concerned members of First Baptist Church, Garki Abuja over the manner in which a new pastor for the church should be engaged ordered maintenance of status-quo anti-bellum pending the hearing and determination of the suit.
The plaintiffs, Bayo Ajagbe and Gbadebo Adedeji, representing the elders of the church had approached the court seeking to halt the confirmation of acting pastor of the church, Rev Tom Takpatore.
It was argued that the process for the appointment of Rev. Takpatire was skewed to give him unfair advantage over other competitors.
The plaintiff alleged.the church leadership of failing to follow the church’s constitution in its day to day activities including the former pastor making himself signatory to the account of the church, a situation, which made the elders to demand that the handover notes from the former pastor should be made available to members for scrutiny.
An affidavit sworn to recently by one of the church officers who signed the extant constitution many years ago is challenging the copy of the constitution filed at the CAC by the church leadership as part of its defence, claiming that it was mutilated.
According to the affidavit, the certified true copy of the constitution, which the faction led by Reverend Tom Takpatore is relying upon and contained in the CAC file has been mutilated and no longer bear semblance to the one that was signed by relevant church officers.
However, the suit marked: FHC/ABJ/CS/432/2022, filed before Justice Egwuatu, has the Incorporated Trustees of First Baptist Church, Garki, Abuja and current “acting pastor” Rev. Tom Takpatore as first and second Respondents.
It would be recalled that, at a church-in-conference held on March 20, this year, it was a free for all as a particular faction in the dispute allegedly invited thugs to prevent the opponents from having their way.
It was initially believed that Nigeria Baptist Convention, umbrella body of Baptist Churches in Nigeria will midwife the reconciliation process.