Nigeria’s Top Pastors In Trouble

Eromosele Ebhomele

Counted among the wealthiest pastors in the world, Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Prophet Temitope Joshua, of the Synagogue Church of All Nations, and Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of the Believers Love World, better known as Christ Embassy, all have something in common.

They are frontline Nigerian clergymen who manage churches that boast of thousands of worshippers, sympathisers and admirers. Their words, most times, are hardly opposed by their church members and they are seen as God’s representatives on earth.

For these pastors, however, the year 2014 has been quite turbulent in various ways. While some are battling with issues of their alleged inability to handle their families like they often preach, others are having to find as much convincing explanation as they could over their involvement in allegations of money laundering, which are yet to be proven against them.

For some of these big pastors, however, this is not the first time they would be enmeshed in controversial issues and allegations. But this year it is coming in torrents.

•Oritsejafor
•CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor

For Ayo Oritsejafor, beginning from when he broke up with the late Archbishop Benson Idahosa and left the Church of God Mission to begin his ministry in Warri, Delta State, he has continued to grow in christendom. From being the President of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria, he became the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, a larger body.

His emergence and activities also came with some controversies that saw bishops of the Catholic Church breaking away from the association.

Despite his explanation that his private jet was a gift from his church members, speculations that the jet was given to him by President Goodluck Jonathan are still on.

Oritsejafor, who, critics have accused of reducing CAN to a political arm of the Peoples Democratic Party, PDP, is currently enmeshed in a controversy involving the use of his private jet by two Nigerians and an Israeli in a $9.3 million cash transfer from Nigeria purportedly to purchase arms for the Federal Government in South Africa..

Oritsejafor agrees he owns the jet that was seized by South African authorities, but said he does not know anything about the controversy surrounding the huge cash since the jet was chattered by those managing it.

Some Nigerians do not believe this. Former Minister of the FCT, Mallam Nasir el-Rufai, has asked the flamboyant clergyman to look beyond his bling and answer questions about his involvement in the deal which some argue could be a failed money laundering attempt.

In the case of Prophet T.B. Joshua, the collapse of a building in his church on Friday, 12 September, that led to the death of at least 80 worshippers, has exposed him to severe criticisms. However, many, including some of his enemies, would attest to the fact that most of his predictions have come true, making him one of the most visited among pastors in Nigeria.

Besides this, he is believed to boost the tourism sector of the country with his uniquely built and attractive church. The founder of Synagogue Church of All Nations, SCOAN, with a 15,000 seating capacity, is believed to be worth between $10 million and $15 million.

Now, this prophet is facing the most challenging period of his life following the collapse of a six-storey building within his church premises. The building, with several tastefully furnished rooms and suites,  accommodated foreign visitors and worshippers of the church until last Friday when the entire building came crashing down.

Prophet Joshua attracted harsh criticisms when, days later, he announced that he was the target of terrorists, who attacked the church building. Footage of an aircraft which hovered around the church shortly before it came down was published online.

But the Lagos State Government on Thursday claimed that the building was an illegal structure which was defective from the beginning. This claim follows another by the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, which said the building was originally supposed to have only four floors and not six.

The South African Government also added to the controversy when it said it lost 67 citizens when the building collapsed, with many wondering why Joshua could not predict the incident.

•Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy church
•Pastor Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy church

On his part, Chris Oyakhilome, fondly called Pastor Chris, the founder of Christ Embassy, is estimated to worth between $30 million and $50 million and boasts of over 40,000 members with many, according to a report, being successful businessmen and hippy undergraduates.

A pastor and businessman, he has interests in printing, hotels, real estate and media which include LoveWorld TV network and thee first Christian TV networks

Pastor Chris is currently having a running battle with Anita, his wife and Vice President of his church in a messy divorce case.

According to reports, a major reason why Anita has made up her mind to leave her husband and father of their two children is simply because Oyakhilome, who heads the church branch in South Africa, is not measuring up as a husband and real family man.

Filing a divorce at a UK court on the ground that “the marriage has broken down irretrievably,” as well as inappropriate relationships with female members of the church, her lawyers said in the court papers: “the wife submits that her marriage to the husband has irretrievably broken down and there is no hope of reconciliation. The wife will submit that it is the husband’s unreasonable behaviours which have led to this.

“…The wife will say that they have lived separately for 16 years and over this time have drifted apart. The wife has come to realise that the husband will only visit the UK for the annual church programmes that he holds rather than to be with this wife. The wife feels that he has been unavailable as a father to their children during their developing years.

•Prophet T.B .Joshua, Synagogue Church of All Nations
•Prophet T.B .Joshua, Synagogue Church of All Nations

“The wife feels that their marriage suffered under the pressure of their work. They would rarely spend time together due to the husband’s unavailability. Special occasions such as Christmas, birthdays and family occasions and anniversaries pass them by and they rarely spent any time together as a family as the husband was more devoted to his work than he was to them.

“The wife feels that she has been used to portray and enhance the husband’s image as a family man when the reality is that there is no existing relationship between them.

“As a result of the husband’s attitude to their marriage, the wife will say that he is virtually not recognised as a married man in the ministry. His teachings and beliefs on marriage is that the husband is a master and a controller and the wife will say that his concept of biblical submission is so extreme that it is impossible for her to meet his expectations.

“She feels humiliated by the way he treats her in the presence of his close female staff members and she feels that she has been taken for granted which has become unbearably stressful for her.”

Archbishop Olubunmi Okogie, who could not stomach the embarrassment the divorce case was causing to Christianity, slammed both of them for refusing to practise what they preach.

19 COMMENTS

  1. TB of SCON is really a man of God. This is just to try his Faith. For CAN FG really need to do some thing about that. For Chris of Embassy You have some many questions for Christains and your members. God is watching.

  2. @Zainab hw many of ur muslim cleriks give to the poor am not supporting them though but ur statement thank God u are a muslim” ranched for inconsequentials and don’t alter more ………..

  3. We are quick to judge and condemn others. What effort are we making individually to make the country a better place? That is one thing you will never hear an American say or a Ghanian say about their president or leaders. Ofcourse they make mistakes and derail attimes but what we owe them is prayers and hoping for a better day ahead and warming up ourselves to lead like barrack Obama stood up to run for presidency. What are you doing in your family before you talk of the nation as a whole. Talk is cheap. Freedom of speech but freedom of conscience eludes almost all humans as no one is truely innocent of without fault.

  4. People, be careful of what u say about pastors so dat u wl not be punished for looseness of ur mouth. If u hv nothing reasonable to say, say nothing. They hv not divorce yet. They could come together again.

  5. The worst thing that Gej administration did to this country is employing divide and rule policy, it divided nigeria along ethnic and religion line, and some capital illiterate and bigots still couldn’t comprehend the conspiracy..

  6. @mede mede or what ever u called urself.u followed pmnews for 10 yrs and today u re calling them anti christ.u must ve been following anti christ for the past 10 yrs.u enjoy their news and even write and post on their page.yet u call them anti christ cos they gave u info free.do u think is easy to gather informations.do u pay them for giving u those news.I don’t blame u.u only brouse free with ur bb and talk rubbish.I know u re victim to one of those pastor.if u don’t know how to talk go and learn and stop posting rubbish…fool

  7. Pastor Chris, is in S.A enjoying d sexy and beautiful babes here and you want him to remember family? Never. No man will see and taste S.A girls and leave them, cos they r so sweet and sexy.

  8. @Mede Mede, you are another unfortunate bieng. A brainwashed negro. Perhaps a Nigerian living in Congo. Are you really with your senses with this trash you posted. Saying customs and law enforcement agents should do there job where presidential power loom larger than Constitution??? You are a fool. The Jet in question took off from Presidential wing of the Airport in Abuja. The Presidency has also issued statement of knowledge of the fund, so what excuse are you dishing out here? Orisajafor is a useless Pastor who has mortgage his conscience because of worldly things. You are a fool medemede.

  9. Our able president said that the issue of corruption in Nigeria is overplayed and that those who complained are unpatrotic rable rousers. I am awaiting the outcome of this South Africa involvement. The World has moved so fast that the politicians are being left behind. Not many people buy lies anymore

  10. Their secrets will soon be opened to the world and the deceit of poor Nigerian will stop. They are all gathering wealth which they not leave this world with. Can’t they live a life like Jesus which they claimed to believe and follow his teachings. He was a humble man to the extent that the Jews couldn’t point him out from his disciples. But the reverse is the case nowadays that the pastors and their families live 99% above their church members yet the poor still give offerings to enrich the pastors. Your church member can’t afford a bicycle yet you waste money in purchasing private jet and maintenance. Must they always be the ones to drop their penny? Why can’t you give 20 petty traders at least 30000 naira to boost their businesses at least knowing that you’ll be getting the money back from them indirectly. Funny enough this poor church members contribute to the building of the universities yet not one of their children can school there because of the expenses. Not even scholarships to their brilliant children!!! This is injustice in the so called house of God. Thank God I’m a muslim

  11. @david Spot on !! why be a pastor and you cannot walk the walk. All Nigerian pastors are only interested in the money aspect and nothing else. We can now see why Boko issue is not restricted to the Christians alone.

  12. Tell me? Who is free from trouble? Anyone free of challenges is not a living being. I have been following pmnews for more than 10 yeas, I am so sure pmnews is anti Christian and their hypocrisy is unending. I am surprise how some press will determine rumours and publish it without authenticity? I knew the pastor who have stake or owns the jet was not the pilot? There are protocols to observed before an airline takes and land in any airport,the pastor was not inside the plane at that moment the cash was moved out, all the bags and luggages are to go into rigorous check, if the airport authorities failed to do their job then blame it on their lack of commitment or conplencancy. In don’t see the pastor shoube held if actually the jet is for chatter services.
    The synagogue church collapse should not be a yardstick to castigate a the man of God, I know this building, I was there sometime April to see a friend from USA who visited synagogue with his family, I remembered I wanted to sit inthe restaurant by the building to wait but the security personal didn’t allow me, i was sent outside the compound to wait, I know if it about materias or quality of cement the building works I saw going on loom solid but we shouldn’t put out negligence by the builders because I cant remember seeing any of them with a company name of the dresses.i want people to support the man by sending condolences not making mockery,No matter the religion we belong we should be sober with new and life lost.
    Christ embassy didn’t handle the issues between pastor chris and wife, women are dangerous and delicate in terms of bringing a man down right from the time of Adam and Eve, the wife as a counsellor should have managed the situation better and see peace reigning again
    We should be very objective when commenting on issues concerning religions and with the situation on ground we don’t need another crisis that will staining Nigeria, no nation or place is trouble free, we know live is full of up and down, no matter God’s in control
    I hereby advice the government as a matter of fact to set up investigative panel to uncover the root causes of the building that collapsed anf and the money discovered in the South Africa, information reaching me revealed that it was from Nigeria the contacted the South Africa authority about the content on board the aircraft.
    Thanks

  13. Allah! All these religious woe-mongers will one day be stoned to death.. Wallahi !

    While my comments about President Jonathan securing Ammunition for Niger Deltan Militants and the Presidency Wings of Boko Haram for Jonathan’s Selfish Political purposes, some goons like Hero, Sunny Akhigbe, DAFT DAT, and host of nonentities on this fora did scorned me. Now the truth is gradually coming out.

    Firstly, this reports about Pastors having troubles is just a wrong headline. It should have read; ” Year 2014: Nigerian Fake Pastors Judgement Year” . These three guys described as Pastors are business men whose area of specialisation is to hoodwink Uncontrollably Senseless Mugus among the citizens.

    However, I will only like to expound more on one of them; The Mad man called Ayo Orisajafor. A great cultist who patronises a dreaded Ombatse Cult in Nasarawa, and a Prominent member of Reformed Ogboni Fraternity.

    The Purpose for which the JET was bought for him by President is now being exposed. Money Laundering of Course. Who knows how many Multi Billion Dollars would have been Airlifted out of this Country since Jonathan became President? Yet these greedy Niger Deltan elements keep lamenting that their people are suffering. The Youth who should have learnt the rope of honesty, self-discipline and decency to Tame their wicked leaders have also learned the rope of stealing, indiscipline and treachery from their fathers. You see them around on Internet defending mediocrity and yet they are suffering far Niger Delta.

    The Government of Jonathan has no rival in defending criminality. In 2010, Jonathan negotiated with Chadian Government to kill a case of Terrorism sponsorship against Alimodu Sheriff….. Sometime ago, Asari Document was caught with degrees of Arms in Benin Republic, and the President Intervention killed the case.. Again, Kashamu Buruji has also been enjoying the protection of President over his Drug case in USA. With these example of Jonathan dishonesty, how then do we describe him, The Time of a Niger Deltan man as President ?????

    The only solution to wipe all these anomalies out of this country is blood shed. Lets face the reality. Lets start from Jungle Justice, i . e stoning to death all known thieves, adulterers, kidnappers, rapist, and host of them all. Employment of Civil Justice is not workable in atmosphere like Nigeria.

    One wonder why would FG gave accelerated attention against EBOLA… They all know tat no Foreign Country will receive them on EBOLA ill health. Bad leaders.

    Ayo Orisajefor is a fool !

  14. I will like to fuck anita ;since chris is not available I will be available full time if she will pay good salary

  15. when we all get to heaven before the judgment throne.Many will regret coming to this world.Alot of people has really mess up,i cant just imagine all these preachers, practicing something against their words.

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