Akwa Ibom State government yesterday announced that it has dropped the charges Pastor Emmanuel Effiong of Christ Embassy Church, Nung Akpa Ime branch, Uyo.

The State Commissioner for Information, Mr Charles Udoh who disclosed this in a statement made available to newsmen yesterday in Uyo said government’s decision followed entreaties from well-meaning individuals and groups.

Udoh added that the church and the pastor have also tendered an unreserved apology to the State government and assured to adhere to all the guidelines and protocols adopted to prevent community spreading of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in the State.

His words, “Following entreaties from well-meaning individuals and groups, the Akwa Ibom State Government has dropped charges against Pastor Emmanuel Effiong of Christ Embassy Church, Nung Akpa Ime branch, off Nsikak Eduok Avenue, Uyo.

“The church and the pastor have since tendered an unreserved apology to the state government while promising to adhere to the Akwa Ibom State Government/Nigerian Centre for Disease Control (NCDC)/World Health Organisation (WHO)/Christian Association (CAN) Guidelines and Protocols adopted to prevent community spreading of the ravaging COVID-19 pandemic in Akwa Ibom State.

“All churches are reminded of the need to ensure strict adherence to all stipulated guidelines”

It could be recalled that the state government had on Sunday, June 21, 2020, sealed off the Church and arrested Pastor Effiong alongside the videographer of the Church for alleged attack on members of the joint monitoring team enforcing compliance of the guidelines and protocols approved for churches reopening in the State.