ISAAC OJO further reports that it was prayers answered for the residents of Ndiakwu, Otolo-Nnewi Anambra State as a Pentecostal church, New Spring Christian was sealed up by a magistrate court sitting in the industrial town.
The church was dragged before the Chief Magistrate Court of Anambra State, Nnewi Magisterial District by Director of Environmental Health Services, Nnewi and Nnewi North local government area.
The pastor of the church, Uche Chinedu who was prosecuted on two counts charge under the public health laws of Anambra state was accused of mounting amplifier and five loud speakers in front of the church premises and tuned same at a very high decibel leading to heavy noise pollution and restless night in his neighbourhood, condition prejudicial to man’s health punishable under section 21 of the public health laws of Anambra state 2006.
He was also accused of failure to comply with terms and requisition of abatement notice with reference No: 00000896 served on him punishable under sections 8(1,4b) and 9(1,2) of the public health laws of Anambra state.
The prosecuting counsel presented Mrs Onwuaha, Mr Edwin Chukwuma and Emmanuel Onwuaha as principal witnesses who all testified that the activities of the church especially during her vigils which normally run between 11pm to 4am is not just a source of noise pollution but also a great disturbance to her 86 year old mother.
The defence counsel presented Jude Osumuo , the president general of the community since 2013 said he is living close to the complainant’s house and that the activities of the church do not disturb anybody.
In its judgement, copies of which were made available to journalists, the Nnewi Magistrate Court presided over by Emekwue ACI ordered the immediate closure of the church with immediate effect because the threat the activities of the church has been posing to the health of people in the area.
The magistrate also hinged the judgement on the ground that the land harbouring the church was gotten for residential purposes.
A resident of the area, Chief Ike Mathew who was around to witness the sealing off of the church by officials of environmental health and security agents said it was a thing of joy that the court has finally come to the rescue of the people who have not known peace since the church was opened in their neighbourhood.
“We are all Christians here but all attempts to make the pastor and his church see reason on the danger his activities pose to the wellbeing of the people has always been misunderstood. They always tag those of us who are complaining as being occults.” He concluded.
Another respondent who does not want his name in print while applauding the court judgement said judiciary once again has proved to be the last hope of the masses.