There was drama in St. Justina Catholic Church Mayo-Dassa in the early hours of Sunday when Mr. James Nungwa stormed the church threatening to kill a journalist while the Mass was going on.
Nungwa a former Commissioner for forestry during Rev. Jolly Nyame regime and the immediate past President General of Tiv Cultural and Social Association, Taraba State stormed the church when offertory was going on and walked straight to Mr. Justin Tyopuusu, Taraba correspondent of National Mirror Newspaper and threatened to kill him.
An eyewitness told journalists that Mr. Nungwa, angrily told the journalist to said his last prayers in Church as he was going to kill him after the mass.
I took the intervention of the Church elders, Catholic Cadet officers and the Police keeping watch on the congregation during mass to calm the situation.
Speaking to journalists after the Mass, Mr. Justin Tyopuusu explained that he has been receiving threat calls from unknown persons over a month ago, over the Tiv leadership crisis in the state.
“Elder Nungwa called me yesterday (Saturday) around 10:21pm and threatened to use all his resources to fight me. He accused me of looking for his trouble and that he was going to kill me.
“I have reported the series of threat to my life at the Jalingo Division’s Police Station and as a law abiding citizen, I am still going to report him to the police.
“The Church on her part is also handling the case. I don’t think I have any problem with him. But he said I posted a comment on facebook and mentioned him in the post, but when we get to the police station we will sort it out,” he said.
Efforts to talked to Mr. Nungwa failed as he refused to comment on his action which Church members said contravened the laws and doctrines of the church, especially when a Priest of God was presiding over the mass.
Rev. Fr. Isaac Nyameh who celebrated the mass expressed dismay over the action of the former commissioner and one time State Organising Secretary of the People’s Democratic Party (PDP), but promised to intervene in the matter.