The Supreme court had on 27 February 2016 upheld the judgement the Appeal Court which passed death penalty on King, saying the condemned reverend must die by hanging.
Reverend King was convicted by Justice Joseph Oyewole of Lagos High Court and sentenced to death by hanging on January 11, 2007, for the alleged murder of a church member, Ann Uzoh. He allegedly poured petrol on the deceased for what he called “acts of fornication,” and set her ablaze, alongside others. The victim eventually died as a result of injuries sustained from the burns.
Arraigned on September 26, 2006 on a six-count charge of attempted murder and murder, to which he pleaded not guilty, King was found guilty by the trial judge. King also admitted flogging the seven people as that was his own way of meting out justice to any recalcitrant member of his congregation.
But how much do Nigerians know of Reverend King? He is a karate expert as well as a Psychology graduate.
To members of the Christian Praying Assembly, Rev. King is a self-styled “Jesus of our time.” He was highly revered, adored and venerated by his disciples and followers who believed that he loomed larger than life. He taught his adherents that he was the real Jesus Christ and his presence on earth was his second coming.
He flogged members with iron rod: According to them, Rev King terrorized them, to the extent of flogging them with iron rod. At a time the police contemplated shutting down the church over acts of lawlessness by its fanatical members since King was arrested.
One of those who were flogged by King with iron rod once said: “Wearing only his boxers, Rev King assembled all of us and asked us to confess all the persons we have been sleeping with. When we said none, he flogged me with a rod until I recanted, naming all people I could think of in order to escape with my life,”
He Made Church Members Disown Family: The witness, who had spent over four years in the church, revealed that the first rite of membership in the church was for converts to disown their parents and relations, added that all the girls Rev King set ablaze went through a similar experience, until they confessed even what they never did.
Furious Rev. King Threw Knives At Members, Set Them Ablaze: “He would have killed us if he had a gun. In his fury that night, he not only beat us with an aluminium window blind rail, but also with pincers and threw a set of knives at one of the girls, but she dodged it, and the knife pierced a leather seat,”
Explaining that King brought them outside the house to avoid a situation where combustible items in the house could cause the building to be razed, she stated that Ann's case was most critical because of the kind of night gown she wore.
He said that after setting them on fire, Rev King drove Ann to the hospital in his jeep, while Kosichukwu trailed behind him in another car, with the other victims. “But on getting to the hospital, he merely told the doctor they were victims of generating set fire. Otherwise, the doctor would not have attended to them.”
Acts of Fornication: Apart from physically assaulting his church members, Rev King was also accused of sleeping with female members, including married women.
One Miss Onuorah Susan Chizobar told an Ikeja High Court that she was always stark naked on the orders of Rev. King anytime she wanted to serve him.
According to her, “when I came to live with the accused (Rev. King), he told me that I would be his permanent maid and that I would agree not to marry. He said anytime I wanted to serve him I must be stark naked which I did. No pant, no bra, I would be completely nude before him and I did this not once, not twice, but for several years. He also ordered me not to tell any member of my family where I was living. He gave me a ring which I always put on to indicate that I am his permanent maid and all this he made me to put into writing. I am a member of the Lord’s army and we bully people, putting fear into them and molesting them. ''
Before the latest action by Lagos state government, though in prison all these years, King’s church members have continued to display an uncommon loyalty to a man they call their General Overseer, their idol. While the members have kept the church activities going in the absence of their idol, they have also continued to express their undiluted loyalty through the avalanche of congratulatory messages and advertisements they place in newspapers for the yearly celebration of King’s birthday on February 26 every year.
On February 26, 2016, on the occasion of yet another of his birthdays which coincided with the Supreme Court verdict which affirmed his death sentence. That day, a particular national newspaper featured at least 12 full page advertisements in commemoration of his birthday this year. In some of the advertisements, King is referred to as “His Holiness, The Most Hon. Dr. Rev. King”. What this means is that to his followers, King is widely seen as today’s messiah even above Jesus Christ as they expressed in the newspaper messages. That sounds more like pure heresy. What do you think?