Be mindful of who you regard as your spiritual leader for this cannot be overemphasized.

The life and story of Chukwuemeka Ezeugo aka Reverend King, the man who was sentenced to death by hanging after killing a church member, is what we could rightly put as an accurate expression of the Karl Marxian school of thought that all modern religions and churches are considered as “organs of bourgeois reaction” used for “the exploitation and the stupefaction of the working class”.

WHO IS REV KING & WHAT’S THE STORY?

Reverend King as popularly known, was the General Overseer and Senior Pastor of the Christian Praying Assembly, a religious organization up until September 2006 when he started facing criminal charges levelled against him.

He was born in Umulekwe village in the Achina community of the Aguata local government area, Anambra State, Nigeria and attended Premier Primary school, Onitsha, for his basic education before proceeding to the Nnamdi Azikiwe University where he obtained a degree in Psychology.

Troubles started with Rev King and subsequently brought him into the limelight at the end of February 2016 a member of his church, Ann Uzoh was burned at his residence. She was rushed to the hospital where she eventually gave up the ghost. According to some members of his parishioners who witnessed the incidence, King had set Uzoh on fire because she was caught in the act of fornication.

On 26 September 2016, Ezeugo was arraigned before the Lagos High Court on 6 charges of murder and attempted murder.

Rather unrepenting, the cleric pleaded not guilty. For him, this was a kind of educational method for eradicating disobedience. He once said; “I am a preacher. I know that the spirit of witchcraft is against the Almighty God. If somebody is a liar, he is bewitching God. I don’t condone lie. Dr King does not condone sin. I flog a lot. I have canes. If husband and wife mess up by having a misunderstanding, I have to settle them. But the person that is at fault, I must flog. If the person refuses to be flogged, I will send him out of the church.”

Several other allegations of illicit sex with members, sexual perversion and violence against parishioners were brought to light in the course of the trial. A witness identified as Edwin Akubue claimed that Ezeugo had had sexual affairs with his wife before the events of the trial. It was also gathered from investigations that King hired a woman as a slave to serve him sexually. was the only way she could do that.

However, his lawyers debunked the statements of the 10 witnesses that came forward to testify on basis of incoherence. But despite the efforts of the defending lawyers, the court was not convinced otherwise. Justice Joseph Oyewole, sitting in the Lagos High Court Ikeja, on 11 January 2007 pronounced King guilty of the murder of Ann Uzoh and sentenced him to death by hanging, plus 20 years in prison for attempted murder.

This convicted acclaimed cleric still lies fallow behind bars. But surprisingly, members of his church have continued to expect his return. who they consider as their messiah, claiming he is a true incarnation of holiness. They have, over the years, maintained a revered image of their pastor and even continue with services. May not ready to learn their lesson yet, too brainwashed or just hypnotized, these parishioners in 2014, bought almost pages of the Nigerian dailies to extol Reverend King’s virtues to mark his birthday.

In 2017, the Supreme Court affirmed the initial judgement of the High court and upheld the death sentence. But even in prison, the pastor has also been said to be involved in the same criminal acts that took him there in the first place. Reportedly, he still had intimate relations with female guests in his cell and 2019, there were claims that he was contesting the general election.

King still awaits his death sentence while serving off his 20 years imprisonment.

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