-These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto Him:
A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,
An heart that deviseth wicked imaginations, feet that be swift in running unto mischief,
A false witness that speaketh lies, and he that soweth discord among brethren.
My attention has been drawn to a Report purportedly presented by a Committee led by Apostle Alexander Bamgbola, the CAN Chairman Lagos State to National Executive Committee (NEC) of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) on Friday 12th October, 2018.
I wish to dissociate myself from the Report and the activities of the Committee for the following reasons:
- The Committee that was approved by NEC in July 2018 in my presence was a RECONCILIATION COMMITTEE. How it manipulated itself into an INVESTIGATIVE COMMITTEE is unknown and unacceptable to me.
- The Report presented by Apostle Bamgbola is another attempt to sweep fraud, theft, impunity, executive recklessness and violation of CAN Constitution and the law under the carpet.
- The sham report of Apostle Bamgbola is not just similar but a repeat or re-enactment of the discredited PIC Committee in July 2017. The NCEF had recommended to the NEC of CAN that a special Committee of NEC be set up to investigate the allegations of financial impropriety and fraud but the CAN President instead summoned a PIC Meeting and handpicked a select Committee of his choice to be Chaired by the Head of the CPFN/PFN Bloc.
- When the report of the PIC Committee was presented at NEC, members of NEC insisted on discussing the issues in full detail and getting to the root of the matter but the Chairman of the Committee set up by the PIC, the head of CPFN/PFN Bloc, perceiving that their whole game will be exposed, unceremoniously and in a very unpriestlike manner, staged a walk-out during the July 2017 meeting of NEC thereby stalling any further investigation of the matter. It was the inability of CAN to handle this issue satisfactorily, as a result of the Committee Chairman’s conspiratorial strategy that is primarily at the root of my petition. For this crisis to be resolved, the issue of purchase of vehicles and diversion/conversion of money meant for CAN must be thoroughly investigated. It is evident, as has been severally admitted, that too much money has been not been accounted for.
- Like a Yoruba proverb says, “the corpse they are trying to bury, the leg is sticking out.” It is very sad that some “men of God” have no fear of God and no iota of righteousness in them. Only a thoroughly ungodly and perverted human being would seek to justify the crimes of Rev. Dr. Samson Olasupo Ayokunle since becoming the President of CAN.
- There are pertinent questions for Nigerian Christians to ask;
i. Who nominated Apostle Bamgbola as the Chairman of the Committee? It should not surprise anybody that Apostle Bamgbola was chosen to do this hatchet job. He seems to be an expert after clearing Gov. Ambode in May 2017 that he did nothing wrong in throwing the property of Venerable Femi Taiwo to the street. Even non-Christians acknowledge that what the Governor and his wife did was wrong. Apostle Bamgbola cleared them of any wrong doing.
ii. When the Committee was approved to be constituted, who was Chairman of the meeting of NEC?
iii. Should Dr. Ayokunle who was directly indicted in the petition chairman the meeting that approved a Committee to Reconcile or Investigate him?
iv. When the Committee submitted its Report, who was Chairman of the meeting of NEC?
v. Should not Dr. Ayokunle have stepped aside and permitted someone else to receive the Report, for whatever it is worth?
vi. Should Dr Ayokunle, in a civilized Christian organization, be a judge in his own cause?
- It is pertinent to state here, that during the sittings of the “Bamgbola Committee”, I was outside the country and did not participate in its activities. Logically and legally, Apostle Bamgbola had no right to present a Report without discussing with the petitioner. (Without interacting with the petitioner, Apostle Bamgbola said his Committee has “investigated” and cleared Rev. Dr. Ayokunle! This is daylight robbery - in the Church of the living God, the pillar and ground of the truth! This is shameful.).
- I wish to state to all Nigerian Christians that all my petitions against the fraud, theft, falsifying of accounting report, manipulation of Audit Report, abuse of office, and other unprintable crimes committed by Rev. Dr. Samson Ayokunle as the President of CAN still stand. The allegations have neither been investigated nor reconciled. Every attempt to sweep these petitions under the carpet is just making the situation worse. For the sake of the Church of Christ, I have no intention of backing down.
- Salient issues in my petition are:
i. Purchase of four second hand vehicles in Cotonou at a cost of N45 million.
ii. One of the vehicles a TOYOTA Highlander SUV was purportedly bought for N11 million in Cotonou while the actual cost in Nigeria is N5 million.
iii. What happened to N6 million on one vehicle alone?
iv. Appointment of an Auditor in violation of Article 19 of CAN Constitution. NEC is empowered to appoint Auditor but Dr. Ayokunle usurped function of NEC to appoint an Auditor to Audit himself and used N350,000 of CAN money to pay the Auditor.
v. By what authority did he appoint the Auditor?
vi. The Audited account (January – September 2017) presented by Dr. Ayokunle and the Treasurer did not include the N45 million spent on vehicles in Cotonou yet the account was balanced. Is this possible?
vii. The routine collection of money from series of State Governors as President of CAN without accounting for and remitting same to CAN. All the funds were meant for CAN yet not a dime was paid into CAN account.
viii. The donation from Benue State Governor was under declared. In my presence, Benue State gave CAN N4 million but President of CAN declared N1 million instead.
ix. Instead of paying this N1m into the CAN account it was shared amongst CAN Officials. The President of CAN informed me that my share was N200,000. I promptly rejected and refused to collect the money. I insisted that it should be paid into CAN account. Till today, I am not sure that was done.
x. Various violations of CAN Constitution by the CAN President.
xi. Compromise of the office of the late General Secretary of CAN and use of unauthorized persons to perform official functions of CAN.
xii. Collection and sharing of N25 million from President Buhari. The President of CAN had denied publicly in Vanguard Newspaper that he didn’t receive any money from President Buhari. Meanwhile, the Chaplain to the Vice President confirmed that the money was collected.
xiii. Why would the President of CAN lie to the Nigerian Church and the public? Those who collected the money are well known and confirmed that they received the money.
xiv. The Ag General Secretary of CAN who had earlier been queried for receiving a gratification of N500,000.00 during the questionable Cotonou car purchase deal, admitted that he received N500,000.00 from the Buhari windfall. Rev Akanji boasted openly that they collected the money and shared it in the usual manner.
- I have been compelled by the deliberate and persistent attempts to cover up the fraud, serial violation of the Constitution of CAN and the law, executive recklessness and outright mischief being demonstrated by the CAN President and his collaborators to make all my petitions public so that Nigerian Christians can see the level of corruption that the leadership of the body of Christ in Nigeria has descended to. As a Minister of the Gospel in addition to my professional calling, I have zero tolerance for corruption and such vices that undermine Christian testimony.
- I urge all Nigerian Christians to remain steadfast on truth and righteousness. God is not impressed with anyone’s title or position in the Church. “For the kingdom of God is not meat and drink; but righteousness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.” Rom. 14: 17
- All the petitions are provided as Appendix to this cover note.
- Regarding my involvement with the National Christian Elder’s Forum NCEF, (Dr Ayokunle has always accused me of conniving with the NCEF to sabotage him) it has to be stated, for the avoidance of doubt, that I was officially invited by CAN and inaugurated along with others including the late General Secretary of CAN Rev Dr Musa Asake, Archbishop Magnus Atilade and others representing CAN , as a Members of that Body by the immediate past President of CAN Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor on 15th January, 2015, before my election as CAN Vice President in July 2016. There is no way my membership of that body was intended to undermine the leadership of CAN. The NCEF has never and will never sabotage or undermine CAN. On the contrary, it is Dr Ayokunle who has sought to undermine the NCEF.
- It is on record that when all the crises started brewing, the NCEF made at least three interventions according to its mandate. Dr Ayokunle frustrated it all.
- In one of the Reports of the Mediating Committee of the NCEF, it was recorded thus: “on 25th July, 2017, a delegation of the NCEF met with the President of CAN. After discussing with the President of CAN, the Christian Elders reviewed developments in the CAN and in the minutes of their meeting noted thus, ‘The Elders expressed sadness at the attitude of the CAN President and considered withdrawing intervention on issues that involve him. The Elders were shocked at the unwillingness of the President of CAN to accept correction and advice’.” This is an example of the experience of the NCEF.
- I urge Nigerian Christians to persuade the NCEF to make public all the Reports of their mediations and interaction with the CAN President. This make for better appreciation of the seriousness of the situation at hand.
- My determination and resolve to fight this battle to redeem the image of the leadership of CAN is unwavering. I hope I will not be compelled to resort to the civil legal process.
Professor Joseph A.M. Otubu.
MB, BS (Ibadan), D.A.(Ibadan), M.P.H (Texas), PhD (London),
FRCOG (UK), FMCOG (NIG),FWACS, Dip. Theology (Ibadan).
Specialty: Obstetrics and Gynecology.
Subspecialty: Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility.
Executive Director: Centre for Reproductive Health Research, Abuja.
Telephone: +2348062654690, +2348059930334
21st October, 2018