The suspects were picked up for attacking Rev. Martin Ejiet, the Archdeacon of Ngora Archdeaconry, Rev. Sam Opolot and some Christians. The attackers, some of whom are said were armed with machetes invaded the church compound as early as 6:00 am and seized the vestry.
At least 14 people in Ngora district are in police custody in
connection to an attack on the clergy at St. Phillips Cathedral on Sunday
The suspects were picked up for
attacking Rev. Martin Ejiet, the Archdeacon of Ngora Archdeaconry, Rev. Sam
Opolot and some Christians. The attackers, some of whom are said were armed
with machetes invaded the church compound as early as 6:00 am and seized the
Rev. Ejiet told our reporter that he received information about the planned
attack on Saturday evening but didn’t expect the attackers to raid the church
during service. According to Rev. Ejiet, his informers notified him about some
secret meetings held by a section of clergy allied to Rev. Charles Okunya Oode,
whose election as the second Bishop of Kumi Diocese was cancelled.
The House of Bishops called off
the consecration of Rev. Okunya in November 2019 after receiving complaints on
the irregularities on his age. Rev. Okunya was subsequently banned from taking
part in any future contests for the election of Kumi Bishop. This prompted Rev.
Okunya to drag the church to court, a matter that is yet to be decided. According
to Rev. Ejiet, the attack on the church was masterminded by Rev. Okunya’s group
that he notes has been pointing figures at him for siding with the diocese.
//Cue in “These people…
Cue out…the diocese,”//
Jimmy Okiror, the acting Officer in Charge Criminal Investigations in Ngora District,
says that they have so far managed to record statements from seven victims of
the church attack.
He told our reporter that the
group will be charged with assault, malicious damage of church property and
theft of church money.
//Cue in “We are trying now…
Cue out…church leaders”//
Kumi diocese has had challenges in the replacement of the founder Bishop,
Thomas Edison Irigei. Rev. Okunya’s election came in after another futile
attempt by the house of bishops to elect Bishop Irigei’s successor. The diocese is now divided into different factions allied to Rev. Okunya while others
stand with the diocese.
Reliable information in the church indicates that out
of the ten archdeaconries in Kumi Diocese, only four are remitting offertory to
the diocese while others collect their monies and spend as they wish. This is the second attack on the clergy in Kumi Diocese this year after Rev.
Levy Otuba, an archdeacon of Kolir Archdeaconry in Bukedea was also attacked in
Ven. Otuba was also attacked on Sunday during baptism of infants
at Abilayep CoU following contention between the communities of Abilayep and
Kanyipa. Even the Care Taker Bishop of
Kumi Diocese, The Rt. Rev Charles Odurkami has been attacked twice by Christians
in Kumi and Bukedea over the cancellation of Rev. Okunya's consecration.