Some aggrieved members of the Assemblies of God Church have dragged the church’s factional General Superintendent, Rev. Chidi Okoroafor and six others to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, over alleged embezzlement and fraudulent diversion of funds.
The petition was written by Barr. Eli Ugwu on behalf of the Assistant General Superintendent, Rev. Ramsey Ogagaoghene, Bright Arukwe, Clement Esochaghi, Oliver Udensi and Sunday Palma.
It also called on the commission to investigate Rev. Vincent Alaje, Rev. Femi Adegoke, Mr. Dickson Ukpai, Mr. Michael Ugbor, Elder Mike Okoro and Tony Ewelike.
According to the allegations, Rev. Vincent Alaje, former general treasurer of the church until August 6, 2014 but currently the treasurer of Rev. Chidi Okoroafor led faction of the church, “unilaterally spent about N115, 000,000 belonging to the church illegally and 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 report further accused Alaje of illegally collecting N28, 508, 800.00 as Staff Investment Premium without any authorization which according to the report 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”, they further claimed.
The petition also sought for probing of Mr. Tony Ewelike with regards to 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 allegedly defrauding the church of over N50m.
Also, the petition called on the commission to investigate the co-coordinator, Easter yearly retreat, Elder Mike Okoro, who they claimed defrauded the church of over N4.4b realized for the purpose of retreats.
The report 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 allegeddly embezzling over N2.1b of the establishments.
The petition 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 said.