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Church of God Mission suspends cleric

Posted by by CAJETAN MMUTA, Asaba on 2005/01/06 | Views: 477 |

Church of God Mission suspends cleric


SUSPICIOUS of possible financial misappropriation in the house of God, the Church of God Mission International, led by Bishop Margaret Idahosa, has slammed a three-month suspension on a leader of one of the church’s in Asaba Province, Delta State, over an alleged fraud running into millions of naira.

SUSPICIOUS of possible financial misappropriation in the house of God, the Church of God Mission International, led by Bishop Margaret Idahosa, has slammed a three-month suspension on a leader of one of the church’s in Asaba Province, Delta State, over an alleged fraud running into millions of naira.

The clergyman was indicted by the church’s Audit Investigation Report covering February 1, 2003, to August 31, 2004.

According to the suspension order contained in a letter to the pastor, and signed by the Director of Administration in the church headquarters, Benin, Bishop John Bienose, and dated November 29, 2004, which was made available to newsmen yesterday, the suspect was found culpable of withholding 20 per cent monthly tithes due the headquarters for six months as well as reckless spending on entertainment, communication and welfare.

The letter also said the report of the audit committee implicated the bishop for "severe strained relationship between him and key leaders of the church," stressing that "all attempts by the church council to bring understanding and broker peace" between the suspended bishop and the affected leaders "yielded no positive result."

However apart from the suspension order which took immediate effect, the implicated bishop is to "be placed on half of his basic salary" monthly.

Daily Champion gathered that the secret goings-on in the church blew to the open when the elders of a particular branch of the church raised alarm following his leadership style said to have alienated them.

Church sources alleged that some of the goings-on included unilateral employment of a private accountant without due consultation with elders and members of the branch council, an action which sparked off crisis in their fold.

Daily Champion investigations revealed that three elders who had earlier handled the finances of the church moved against the suspect, leading to the problem of his 19-month-old tenure between the period of February 1, 2003 to August 31, 2004 after due consultations with the areas Bishopric Executive Council, which alerted the church headquarters to set up the audit committee.

Following the cleric’s suspension, a new pastor, has been appointed to head the crisis-ridden branch.

Contacted, the new pastor, who was deployed from Agbor, said he was not in a position to speak on the matter until he gets the approval of the General Overseer, Bishop Margaret Idahosa.

He, however, said the church was willing to open a can of worms by the time the national leadership gives approval to speak on the occurrences within the church in Asaba.

The church was yet to decide whether to report the alleged fraud case to the police for possible arrest of the suspect and prosecution as at the time of filing this report.

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Comments (3)

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Abieyuwa(Edo, Nigeria)says...

Otasowie means evening life is better than morning life. There is an error in your “evening life is better than evening life”?

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Naija g(Houston, Minnesota, US)says...

Sokari doesn’t mean joy. Joy is Biobela. Go to the village and ask the meaning of the name.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.