Governor Charles Soludo of Anambra State has stated that Prophet Chukwuemeka Ohanaemere (Odumeje) must pay the cost of demolishing a building in his church in Onitsha.
Soludo, who spoke at the weekend, said there were several notices sent to Odumeje and other house owners, whose properties were marked for demolition.
According to the governor, those who did not remove such marked property by themselves must pay for the cost of demolishing them by the government.
“It is costing us money. They had several notices to remove such structures, but they refused. The demolition started on Thursday, and so far so good. The demolition went well, except for Pastor Odumeje, who according to the report drove in, in a brazen manner and attempted to take over the equipment.
“Of course, state work must go on, and security had to stop him. This was a man who was in several meetings we had and also spoke. In fact, this is costing us money, and the structures should have been removed before now, but they chose to test the resolve of government.
“Once we are done with this exercise, we will compile the bills and send to the persons involved, and they must pay.”
Soludo had earlier distanced himself from an apology reportedly tendered to the fiery prophet.
He also disclosed that two Catholic churches were awaiting demolition in line with the state government’s plans.
“Two Catholic parishes involved in the demolition of the illegal structures are St Dominic Catholic Church and Our Lady Queen Catholic church,” he said.
He said the parish priest of Our Lady Queen Catholic Parish was around when the demolition team visited, and even cooperated, and also granted an interview.