Nigerian Herbalist To Become Pastor After 10 Years In Prison - LagosTrend

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Friday, October 6, 2023

Nigerian Herbalist To Become Pastor After 10 Years In Prison


On Friday, Justice Binta Nyako of the Federal High Court in Abuja discharged Michael Omonigho, a traditional priest from terrorism-related charges instituted against him by the Federal Government in 2013.

Omonigho was remanded at the Nigerian Correctional Centre since 2013 when he alongside three other suspects, Kelvin Oniarah Eziegbe, Frank Azuekor and Momoh Haruna, was charged on 13 counts bordering on terrorism and kidnapping activities.

Kelvin Oniarah and Frank Azuekor (who were detained at the Department of State Services since 2013) were convicted and sentenced to 20 years in prison for their involvement in kidnapping their victims, including Mike Ozekhome SAN while attacking five policemen and two prison warders, leading to their death.

Omonigho was charged on two counts for allegedly supporting terrorist activities and for failing to disclose terrorism information to security agencies in contravention of Section 8 (1) (b) of the Terrorism Prevention Act 2011, as amended.

The case dragged on from 2014 to 2023 due to several adjournments as a result of the reassignment of the matter to three judges – Justice Adeniyi Ademola, Justice Babatunde Quadri and finally Justice Binta Nyako.

The judge discharged the priest, saying he did no wrong in giving help to visitors and that the prosecution failed to connect his role as a priest to the allegations.

Justice Binta Nyako, after discharging Michael, asked him why his traditional medicine could not reveal to him that some of the visitors patronising him at the time were involved in crime, to which he responded that he had decided to abandon the practice and repent.

After the court session, LAGOSTREND asked Omonigho how he felt about the judgement.

“I am very happy,” he replied.

He added that his health deteriorated in detention, insisting he never knew the convicts.

“A person like me staying in that place (detention)? I contacted hypertension there. Every time, I was taking drugs.

“I was never part of them (kidnappers). You even heard the judge (judgement) saying I did nothing wrong and discharged me,” Omonigho said.

Asked if he was going back to his traditional priesthood, he responded in the negative.

“No. I have repented. I’m now a pastor. I will now go to Redeemed (RCCG),” he said.

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