Law enforcement spokesperson Grace Iringe Kokoko confirmed the call for Channels Television, and the outlet confirmed that the incident occurred in the area of Polo Club.
The crowd apparently tried to force through a tiny entrance point following the arrival of people early for the event, which was scheduled to start at 9:15 a.m. However, the gate was locked as per Channels Television.
“However, at about 8am, some sports men arrived and opened the small entrance to have their training session, only for the crowd to see it as an opportunity to access the tent that was mounted by the church for the program,” the outlet stated.
Photos posted online showed crowds of people crowded together and a huge banner that reads, “Shop for Free 28th May, 2022”:
King's Assembly advertised the Shop for Free event on its website, stating, “The economy and the state of the nation has kept many out of job[s] and left others with little or nothing to cater for themselves or their loved ones.”
The assembly stated that it was organizing the event to assist those in the community.
“From food stuff to household items, furniture and supplies, clothes, shoes and sundry items for adults and kids, there is no limit to the gift items that are given out during this event,” the website continued.
In a tweet on social media this Friday, King's Assembly asked followers to pray for good weather, order, peace, and comfort during the event.
As per Channels Television's report, “A similar incident in December 2020 also claimed some lives when a crowd gathered for a Christmas palliative organized by an online sales platform in Port Harcourt.”