The Lagos State Government shut the church on Tuesday.
Normal activities continued at The Lord’s Chosen Church, in Lagos, Wednesday despite its closure by the Lagos State Government.
It was not clear if the government had lifted the order to shut down order the church due to its poor sanitary condition.
Efforts to speak with the church’s administrator, Public Relations Officer, or the Chief Security Officer were not successful.
A worker at the church who refused to state his name initially told PREMIUM TIMES to go and speak with the police officers present at the church.
At the nearby police post, a police officer was pointing this reporter the way to the Administrator’s building when the worker, who had been frantically making phone calls, came to say that the trio were “not available.”
“They are not around. You can go and come back tomorrow. If you can’t cometomorrow, come the day after. No other person is authorized to speak with journalists,” the worker said.
On Tuesday, the Lagos State Ministry of Environment said that it had shut down the church’s headquarters over its failure to comply with environmental laws.
“Inspection round the premises revealed that the church does not dispose solid waste generated properly, while as a matter of fact, it openly burns waste generated inside the church premises, thereby exposing the lives of its worshippers to serious health hazard,” Tunji Bello, the Commissioner for the Environment, had said.
“A further investigation also revealed that a substantial part of the one-kilometre church auditorium was built on the Odo Asimawu drainage channel, thereby impeding the flow of storm water, as well as inhibiting effective performance of the channel.
“It was also discovered that the church built all its toilets on the canal and deliberately discharged the raw human waste into the canal.
“The church does not have proper sanitary system and they discharged their wastes into the canal. Most of their members trade on the expressway and we do not want that,” Mr. Bello had added.
Phone calls to the Commissioner’s office did not go through.
Activities at the church’s headquarters on Wednesday betrayed no sign of a premises sealed by a government task force.
Outside the church, a handful of members danced around a giant loudspeaker belching out a song: ‘Children of God, who are you looking up to? Who will heal your sickness?’
Over a dozen other members, clutching sleeping mats, hurried towards waiting buses preparing to leave for evangelical duties.
PREMIUM TIMES learnt that Lazarus Muoka, the church’s General Overseer, is currently outside the country “on a church assignment.”
The Lord’s Chosen has branches in 75 countries across the world, according to information on its website, including in Venezuela and Vietnam.
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