Gulu Pastor In Trouble For Trespass

Pastor Otekas lawyer, Tony Kitara, says it was wrong to arrest the Pastor for a crime he is suspected to have committed before violating the conditions of his bond.
Pastor Benjamin Oteka, the Director of Faith Center Cathedral (Left).

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Pastor Benjamin Oteka, the founding Executive Director of Faith Center Cathedral in Gulu district is in trouble for trespass. Pastor Oteka is accused of trespassing in the residence of his ex-wife Carole Ward, an American national the founder of Favour of God Ministries in Gulu district.

Drama ensued at Kaunda Ground on Sunday even when Flying Squad operatives showed up to arrest Pastor Oteka who was participating in a month long joint crusade with other pastors.

The officers stormed the grounds on the directives of Ronald Owere, the officer in Charge of Crimes Investigation and Intelligence in Gulu District. They opened fire at around 10 p.m. to disperse the rowdy Christians who had started pelting them with stones to prevent the arrest of Pastor Oteka.

The officers bundled Pastor Oteka in a numberless vehicle and whisked him off to Gulu central Police Station. This morning, fellow pastors stormed Gulu Police station to protest the manner the pastor was picked up.

Pastor Oteka's lawyer, Tony Kitara, says it was wrong to arrest the Pastor for a crime he is suspected to have committed before violating the conditions of his bond.

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Trouble for Pastor Benjamin Oteka started in 2013 after Carole Ward accused him of assaulting her and her friend at Acholi Inn Hotel. She pressed several criminal allegations against Pastor Oteka including threatening violence and assault and applied for divorce.

Prosecution led by William Bayo, the Gulu Resident State Attorney alleges that on August 9, 2013 while at Acholi Inn hotel in Gulu town, Pastor Oteka threatened to harm Ward, 53 and assaulted another American national only identified as Lisa.

Pastor Oteka was convicted for two and half years imprisonment on each of the counts. He was jailed in Gulu Central Prison to serve the sentences for the five years concurrently. 

However, it was discovered that the conviction paper was never signed by Deogratious John Ssejjemba, the Gulu Chief Magistrate who convicted him as hearing of his appeal commenced in January this year before Gulu High Court.

Consequently, Vincent Okwanga, the Gulu High Court Resident Judge ordered that Pastor Oteka be discharged from prison as the judge signs his conviction order. 

Shortly thereafter, Pastor Benjamin Oteka started pushing for the hearing of the divorce application that had been filed against him by his ex-wife Carol Ward in Gulu High Court - little did he know that it would get him into fresh trouble.

Ward filed fresh charges of allegation of Criminal trespass after Pastor Oteka stepped foot at her apartment in Kampala purportedly to deliver court summons asking her to file evidence in the divorce suit. 

Carole recorded a statement with Police, saying Pastor Oteka violated her privacy by trespassing at her apartment.

She also accused the Pastor of acting illegally by failing to secure the services of a lawyer or court clerk to deliver the court summons. Police summoned Pastor Oteka over the matter and released him on bond. He however, reportedly violated the conditions of the bond leading to his arrest.