Popular pastor and founder of the Living Faith Christian Church International, David Oyedepo, will face a legal action for slapping a young lady during church service, last year.
Robert Igbinedion, a Lagos based lawyer, confirmed to Premium Times Friday that he had filed a suit, on behalf of the young lady, at the Ogun State High Court for the enforcement of the lady’s fundamental rights to freedom from inhuman and degrading treatment, human dignity, fair hearing, and freedom from discrimination.
Mr. Igbinedion is seeking an award of N2bn as ‘general and exemplary damages’ against Mr. Oyedepo.
“If a wrong is done to the young lady, she is bound to receive justice for that wrong,” said Mr. Igbinedion, a Solicitor at Salus Populi Chambers.
In the suit, Mr. Igbinedion said that the young lady, while answering an “illegal” alter call, was trying to explain herself when the pastor gave her “a dirty and thunderous slap.”
“The respondent (Mr. Oyedepo) made the alter call for witches to come out, he did not make a similar call for other categories of sinners like illicit drug dealers, contract inflators, fraudsters, adulterers, and fornicators in the church,” read the suit.
Mr. Igbinedion, who represented the victims of the celebrated Pastor Emeka Ezeugo (popularly known as Reverend King) at the Magistrate court, in 2006; stated that cases of violence in the place of worship if not nipped in the bud could escalate into ‘uncountable’ dimensions.
Furthermore, he said the calling out of the young lady (and others) as witches are illegal, unconstitutional, and a breach of Section 34 of the Constitution of Nigeria, African Charter on Human and People’s Right, and United Nations Universal Declaration on Human Right.
The suit asked the court to compel Mr. Oyedepo to issue a self-signed public apology to be published in two national dailies and one international satellite television station.
It also wants the respondent to issue a similar alter call for drug dealers, corrupt government officials, bribe-giving contractors, and other category of sinners who are members of the church.
In December last year, a video of Mr. Oyedepo viciously slapping a teenage girl during church service for saying she is “a witch for Jesus” appeared on popular site You Tube.
Though later removed, the video went viral within days with the pastor, fondly called Papa, receiving a lot of stick from outraged viewers and members of the public.
One viewer described the act as “unbiblical, barbaric, and a disgrace.”
Days later, another video surfaced in which Mr. Oyedepo tried to justify his action saying “it is my ministry to slap” and that the fact that the witch, rather than going to court, apologized showed his superiority.
“People now complain on the Internet that I slapped a witch. If I see another one, I’ll slap,” he said in the video.