Holy Trinity church Lagos, located is at 2 Oba Adeyemi Oyekan Avenue, Ikoyi.
On last week Wednesday morning its resident pastor, John Delano, a church worker, and two guards narrowly escaped being lynched to death by thugs who invaded the premise .
The thugs who were over thirty stormed the church with a bulldozer immediately after an early morning prayer meeting and proceeded to remove the entire front-facing fence of the property, the gates were forcefully removed. Also three massive trees were uprooted without approval.
During the invasion on the property
Pastor John Delano, David and two guards who were present attacked, slapped severally, and physically assaulted.
While security personnels hired to guard the property was almost lynched to death.
According to one of the victims,John Delano, “who narrated his ordeal said on Wednesday morning myself and David Neji (faculty manager for the church) were closing up after a prayer meeting 6 to 7 am. We heard a crashing sound and we went out to investigate. The sight that greeted us was shocking. A bulldozer crashed through our Gate and about 30 men rushed in.”
“The man in front was yelling out orders. Everybody out. Upon hearing the orders and realising we had no options but to obey we started heading out.”
It was then l remembered that my car key was still in the Church, so l rushed back to get my key and l drove my car to a safe spot away from the church.”
When I came back to watch what was going on. When l saw two of our security guys being manhandled. So I started to take photos. Then l switched to Video. As l began to video but one of the Thugs grabbed my phone and started to walk off with it. Immediately I followed after him and started to entreat him so as to get my phone back. He took me to their Leader. The man in green who had been yelling orders. He slapped me twice. The people around me started to slap me as well. They took me to the sandy side of the pavement and told me to sit on the ground.
He left for about ten minutes then he came back to talk with me ..he asked my name and what l was doing there. I told him l was the Pastor. He began to berate me.” Delano further noted that prior to the invasion, there was no notification. The church paid for their lease on the land and their payment covers a period till November 2022: a term which is yet to expire.”
“We had been negotiating to buy the premises from them. When negotiations broke down they began to threaten us with eviction. We explained that there is a subsisting Lease in respect of which we are the beneficiaries. They offered to pay for us to surrender the Lease. We refused the offer.
Thereafter they became hostile so we instituted an action in the Lagos High court.”
It was learned that since attack the police have been somewhat reluctant to act on the matter. A high ranking police officer claimed that Ikoyi was rife with land grabbing cases and that his hands are tied.