One of the branches of Pastor Lazarus Muoka’s The Lord’s Chosen Church in New Nyanya, Nasarawa State, has been taken to court for allegedly failing to pay rent of about N17,500.
It was said that the church rented a part of a plot of land measuring 100ft by 100ft at New Nyanya, from one Kola Sunmonu at the rate N35,000 annually. But after the initial payment in July 2012, the church allegedly did not pay for the second year.
This forced the owner of the property to take the church to a Mararaba chief magistrate’s court, seeking to take immediate possession of his land from the church.
Counsel to the plaintiff, Raphael Nnabuike, informed the court that the defendant only paid the initial rent of N35,000 on July 3, 2012, which expired on July 3, 2013.
He also accused the defendant of refusing to sign the tenancy agreement which the plaintiff drafted and gave to the church. Nnabuike also told the court that it was in the agreement that the church must not erect a permanent structure on land, which the defendant allegedly flouted.
However, the pastor of the church, Charles Nnabuife, who was in court without any legal representation, informed the court that The Lord’s Chosen Church practises what it preaches.
He further told the court that the church was not contesting the land with the plaintiff, praying that the court appeals to the plaintiff to give the church more time to settle its rent. He also prayed the court to beg the plaintiff to sell the said plot of land to the church if he plans to sell it.
The magistrate, Habila Abundaga, adjourned the matter to July 24, but asked counsel to the plaintiff to wade into the case with the aim of resolving the dispute.