Fresh Chaos Hit Assemblies Of God Church As Members Drag Heads To EFCC Over EmbezzlementCrime Watch, Latest News Monday, October 19th, 2015
By Ignatius Okpara, Enugu
The factional General Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church, Rev. Chidi Okoroafor and six of his officials have run into mucky waters, as their members have dragged them before the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC), over alleged embezzlement of church funds.
Our Correspondent gathered that the petition was submitted to the anti-graft agency by their lawyer, Barrister Eli Ugwu.
Dated September 31, 2015, the petition, which was made available to newsmen Monday, was addressed to the commission on behalf of the factional Assistant General Superintendent, Rev. Ramsey Ogagaoghene, Pastors, and other concerned members of the church.
The Six officials the petition, is asking the commission to investigate include, Rev. Vincent Alaje, Rev. Femi Adegoke, Mr. Dickson Ukpai, Mr. Michael Ugbor, Elder Mike Okoro and Tony Ewelike.
Rev. Vincent Alaje, was the former General treasurer of the church until August 6, 2014, but currently he is the treasurer of Rev. Chidi Okoroafor led faction of the church.
According to the petition, “Alaje unilaterally spent about one hundred and fifteen million N115, 000,000 belonging to the church illegally on unauthorized business without approval from the General Superintendent.
“He personally negotiated and concluded payments for three lands and has started erecting a building thereupon without the consent and authority of the General Superintendent and other officers of the church.
“Alaje is fond of commandeering money to himself, approving them by himself, and authorizing payments without seeking the consent of the General Superintendent.
“This is evidence by his requisition of 5/4/2013 for the sum of N1, 500,000.00, which he tagged; “Trip to Ibadan with the family
“The above unilateral stashing of fund is after the officers had magnanimously approved N2m to him as gift towards the same purpose.
“The requisition will be presented on demand”.
The petition further indicted Alaje of illegally collecting twenty eight million, five hundreds and eight thousand, eight hundred naira (N28, 508, 800.00) as Staff Investment Premium without any authorization which according to the petition, is against the General Council Accounts procedures.
“Again, Rev. Alaje contrary to the general council accounts procedures and without authorization instructed the deposition of specific amounts of money which he tagged “Staff Investment Premium” into a specific Diamond Bank Account and from records a total sum of N28, 508,800.00 was deposited into this account from 24/4/13 to 27/7/14
The petition also sought for probing of Mr. Tony Ewelike into the N1.4b Assemblies of God Ministers Benefit Scheme, AGMBS, under him which he has been unable to account for.
According to the petition, Rev. Femi Adegoke, former medial director of Assemblies of God should also be investigated for defrauding the church of over N50m.
Also, the petition called on the commission to investigate the co-coordinator Easter yearly retreat, Elder Mike Okoro, whom it claimed defrauded the church of over N4.4b realized for the purpose of retreats.
It also called for the investigation of Mr. Dickson Ukpai and Mr. Michael Ugbor both general managers of Assemblies of God Bookshop and Assemblies of God Press for embezzling over N2.1b of the establishments.
The petition which contains attachments of receipts of monies collected by some of the accused informed the anti-graft agency that, “Due to the current crises in the church the fraudulent activities of the people mentioned above with the connivance of Rev. Dr. Chidi Okoroafor has continued unabated.
“It is our instruction that Rev. Chidi Okoroafor, the leader of a faction of the church and his cohorts named above has before 6th March 2014 been fraudulently embezzling BILLIONS of Naira belonging to the church.
“We urge you sir, to carefully investigate this report in the interest of justice and in the spirit of the present administration which has zero tolerance for corruption.
“Your outfit is well known for fighting of corruption and reposing life on the downtrodden.
“We are equally aware that no amount of money in this entire world can buy the conscience of EFCC the only hope of Nigerians,” the petition concluded.
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