I Jumped through Window to Escape from Collapsed Church Building, Says Founder/General Overseer
The General Overseer/Founder of the Reigners Bible Church Int’l Inc., Apostle Akan Weeks, on Tuesday, told the Justice Essang Commission of Inquiry investigating the collapse of his church last December 10 in Uyo, Akwa Ibom state, that he escaped death from the calamity in which scores of people were killed and several others injured by jumping through the window.
Weeks, who was being cross-examined by the counsel to the Civil Liberty Organisation (CLO) in the state, Barrister Clifford Thomas, said he was injured on the leg in the process of escaping from the incident, adding that, he had sat on the high table with other Bishops and top clergies in the state who came for that his consecration as a Bishop he will not know how other Bishops and clergies managed to escape.
The General Overseer further revealed that his wife told him that he was unconscious and passed out when he jumped out from the window but he was revived in the hospital after six hours.
“During the day of the incident, I sat with Bishops and very senior clergies. When the building was caving in I don’t know how they escaped from the collapsing building; but I jumped through the window when the building collapsed", he said.
The General Overseer of the Reigners Bible Church, who could not ascertain the number of members of his church that died in the building collapse, however, told the Commission that medical report put the figure of the deceased at 28.
Also, contrary to the state government position that corpses of those killed in the incident were still in the mortuary, Weeks said he was aware that some of those who died in the disaster had been buried by their family members.
He also said he personally visited those injured in the hospital and some of the bereaved families to prayer for them.
“I visited those who were injured in the hospital. I cannot recall the number visited but they were more than nine people. I pray for them and gave them money and also gave financial assistance to the family of those who died to facilitate their burial.
“What happened on December 10, 2016 was a sad event I expected people to sympathise with me. My heart goes to the deceased and those injured.
“My intention was not to build a house and bring people to die. I look at it as an accident," he added..
Weeks who affirmed that the State Governor, Udom Emmanuel, is his good friend said he invited to the Governor to his Bishopric enthronement as a Special Guest of Honour.
“I cannot ascertain the actual number of people invited for my enthronement as Bishop. I invited several thousands of people to the event” noting that the auditorium was still under construction," he added.