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Police arrest Rivers pastor, seal church over electrocution

The Rivers State Police Command said the assistant pastor of the church that owns a billboard linked to the electrocution that killed five people in the Rumuosi area of Obiri-Kwere in the Obio/Akpor Local Government Area of the state had been arrested.

Nine men were said to have been electrocuted on Monday when a metal billboard they were installing for the new-generation church touched a high-tension cable.

Five of them died on the spot while the four others were rushed to the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital for treatment.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Grace Iringe-Koko, confirmed the arrest to our correspondent on Tuesday.

Iringe-Koko said, “Yes, I can confirm that the assistant pastor of the Church has been arrested.

“He is in the custody of the China Police Division as we speak. An investigation is still ongoing.”

Also, officials of the Rivers State Signage and Advertising Agency, on Tuesday, sealed the church.

Also sealed was the billboard stand which was still at the scene of electrocution along the Obiri-Kwere stretch of the East-West Road, as the two areas had been cordoned off with tapes.

The Managing Director of the RSAA, Dr Anthony Okeah, said no approval was given for the installation of the billboard.

He warned those engaging in such form of outdoor advertising without the agency’s approval to desist forthwith, saying defaulters would be sanctioned.

“If you must practise advertisement, you must go the right way. You must be certified and you must abide by the rules and regulations of the signage agency,” he said.

Our correspondent who visited the University of Port Harcourt Teaching Hospital on Tuesday gathered that the four injured persons had left the health facility.

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