The acting Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) of the command, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the incident in Port Harcourt.
Iringe-Koko said that the church, located in GRA in Rivers capital, had invited members of the public to an an event where it would share some gift items to its members, including food stuffs.
She said that the event was held at the Port Harcourt Polo Club, a bigger facility to accommodate the anticipated crowd, including the underprivileged.
The PPRO stated that though the programme was billed to start by 9am, but some of the participants arrived there before the time.
The command’s spokesman said that the church leadership was distributing the parliatives to the participants before the time at the venue which led to the stampede.
She said the stamped must have occurred when the people who had gathered struggled to have have items, resulting in the death of the 31 persons.