A faction of Assemblies of God Church has been dragged to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, by the Assistant General Superintendent, accusing the factional General Superintendent and six others of alleged fraudulent conversion of funds running into billions of naira.
The Assistant General Superintendent, Rev. Ramsey Ogagaoghene in a petition addressed to the EFCC noted that the factional General Superintendent, Rev. Dr. Chidi Okoroafor and six others allegedly embezzled over N100 billion belonging to the church, adding that Rev. Okoroafor was the Assistant General Superintendent until March, 2014 when he could not account for funds of the church and formed a parallel group that threw the church into crisis.
On account of the petition dated September, 2015 submitted to the Commission by Mr. Eli Ugwu, counsel to the petitioner and four others, the group urged the Commission to investigate the alleged fraudulent conversion of money and embezzlement of funds belonging to the church by Rev. Okoroafor and his cohorts as they approved money for projects without due process of the church, and allegedly executed such projects by themselves.
The petition read in part: “On behalf of the Assistant General Superintendent, Rev. Ramsey Ogagaoghene, Bright Arukwe, Clement Esochaghi, Oliver Udensi and Sunday Palma for and on behalf of pastors and other concerned members of the church, we claim that Rev. Vincent Alaje, Rev. Femi Adegoke, Mr. Dickson Ukpai, Mr. Michael Ugbor, Elder Mike Okoro and Tony Ewelike engaged in illegal and unauthorized business without the approval of the General Suprintendent.
“Alaje unilaterally spent about N115 million belonging to the church, personally negotiated and concluded payments for three plots of lands and has started developing the plots without the consent and authority of the General Superintendent and other officers of the church.
“Alaje was fond of commandeering the money of the church, approving same by himself, and authorized payments without the consent of the General Superintendent. This was evidenced by his requisition of 5/4/2013 for the sum of N1.5 million which he tagged, ‘Trip to Ibadan with family.’ The unilateral stashing of fund was after the church magnanimously approved N2 million for him”
The petition further indicted Alaje of illegally collecting N28.5 million as staff investment premium without any authorization, which according to the report, was against the general council accounts procedures. The petition further noted that the same amount was deposited into an account with Diamond Bank.
Rev Ogagaoghene in the petition also prayed EFCC to question Mr. Tony Ewelike on the N1.4 billion Assemblies of God Ministers Benefit Scheme, AGMBS, which he was unable to account for. The petition further pointed out that Rev. Femi Adegoke,, the former media director of the church should also be investigated for allegedly defrauding the church of over N50 milliion.