January 19, 2007

Nigerian preacher sentenced to hang


A Nigerian high court has sentenced a Lagos preacher to death by hanging for setting fire to members of his congregation, killing one woman.

Emeka Ezeuko, better known as Reverend King, was found guilty on one count of murder and five of attempted murder.

In July last year, he accused six members of his Christian Praying Assembly church of sinning by having extra-marital sex.{{more}}

He poured petrol over them before setting them alight.

Ann Uzor died in hospital from her burns.

Rev King allegedly told members of his congregation that he was Jesus Christ, a claim that gave him the powers to punish sin.

The BBC’s Umar Shehu Elleman who was in court said Rev King began to shiver when the sentence was passed and then started to shout angry protestations.

He claimed he was innocent and accused people of plotting against him.

His lawyer said it was a sad moment and an appeal would be considered after they had read the judgement papers in detail.