LATEST IN ASSEMBLIES OF GOD CHURCH, NIGERIA: REV. PAUL EMEKA CRIES OUT. GIVES DETAILS OF THE CRISIS. READ FULL STATEMENT.
In a detailed statement released this morning on the social networks, titled:THE TRUTH ABOUT THE CRISIS IN AGN Rev. Dr, Paul Emeka, the embattled General Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church Nigeria gives the full details of the crisis in the church. Here is a copy of the full statement:
I want to begin by clarifying the issue about the suits in the court. I did not sue the church. To sue the church, it must include the General Superintendent, the registered Trustees, and the General Council of the Assemblies of God, Nigeria. I couldn’t go to court against myself. The people who were sued were individuals like the Ambassadors and 11 EC. They were sued in their individual capacity. These people through an illegal General Committee wanted to usurp the General Council, and no reasonable General Superintendent would allow usurpers to come and overturn things like the mess we find ourselves in today.
But even before the purported General Committee of March 6, 2014, I had stopped the suit and it was abandoned. It went out of existence. On that day, the people mischievously still sent somebody to go and search for the abandoned suit, which they read to the people. Based on that illegal act, they immediately pronounced an illegal suspension on the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Nigeria. That means that in spite of the fact that it was not a suit against the church, it had even been abandoned. The same thing applies to the human right suit. It is not against the church.
Some other persons sued against what the illegal body did and are still doing. In that, too, they did not sue the church but those individuals who were engaged in these illegal acts against the church. Nobody should be suspended for suing the church because these men who carried out this illegal act were not the church. The people sued are about 19 illegal persons comprising the Ambassadors of the Kingdom and the 11 illegal EC. These are not the church. To sue the Assemblies of God, Nigeria, the suit must include:
• The General Superintendent
• The Registered Trustees of the church
• The General Council
• The Assemblies of God
In other words, it is rather the Assemblies of God, Nigeria, represented by the GS that sued to stop 19 illegal persons who came to destroy the church. I, as the General Superintendent, cannot be expected to keep quiet and watch these intruders come and destroy the church I am shepherding. It is unfortunate that they are trying to make themselves the church and are using the General Council money to defend themselves, but they will pay.
NEW BANK ACCOUNTS
It is equally unfortunate that by now these illegal men have looted and spent more than N150 million of the General Council funds. They keep holding these illegal meetings with the District Superintendents and Treasurers from zone to zone, telling them how they would remit money to them. They have opened new accounts because I keep blocking any existing accounts I discover. They are mercilessly dealing with the General Council funds with which they service their numerous lawyers and members of their think-tank whom they quarter in various places to keep manipulating the church and the court with lies. They even forged my signature on a cheque of N9 million on March 18. Thank God that the bank alerted me promptly.
DEMANDS OF THE HUMAN RIGHT COURT ORDER
1. Rev. Chidi Okoroafor should not parade himself as the acting GS and also should not allow himself to be paraded or introduced as such
2. These zonal meetings that the illegal EC are going about holding are against the court order. Very soon, the law will catch up with them.
3. The District Superintendents should not play hosts to them any longer
4. All panels, meetings, committees, in the name of EC, which is not chaired by me is illegal and therefore stopped
5. If they invite you, do not go or honour it. Demand a written invitation letter signed by either the so-called acting GS or the General Secretary. Such documents will be sent to me for onward submission to the court as evidence of their contempt of the court.
6. They have no right to suspend anybody without me as the chairman of the meetings from which such decisions should emanate
7. This court order is attached here to arm you to resist their unlawful threats
8. Justice is always slow; therefore, do not get discouraged if you don’t see them dealt with immediately. They must surely be stopped.
Their lawyers are specialists in pranks, adjournments, appeals, lies, distortions and misinterpretations, all in a bid to stall this case. But the judges are taking note. The game will soon be over. The illegal group has deceitfully boasted and told people that the court cannot restore the GS or reinstate him. The purpose of the suit is not to reinstate me, because I am not out. I remain the legitimate and incumbent GS of the church, court or no court. The purpose of the suit is to remove the obstructions placed on my way by these illegal men; they are causing distractions to the church.
This human right court order confers full status quo on me. Any meeting not called by me for the EC is illegal. Do not respond to their invitations. If they continue committing contempt of the court order, they will be separately prosecuted for that. If you as a DS or minister continue to yield to their intimidations, you are the one enslaving yourself. If you receive any such threat, reject it and inform me.
If they were genuine, they would not have been doing what they are doing now? They are going from District to District, speaking against Paul Emeka. Their sermons and lectures are laden with defamation and assassination of character of Paul Emeka. After reading a passage, their sermon introduction, body, illustration, conclusion and altar call centre on Paul Emeka. If you ask them what Paul Emeka did, they would get stuck; rather, they come with very puerile allegations, such as he is proud, arrogant, stubborn, unteachable, and incorrigible. They find it hard to tell people specifically what the GS did; all they do is to defame and assassinate his character.
What they had alleged against me before March 6 was not what they discussed in the General Committee. They brought a new one and rushed into suspension of the GS. They could not allow me to call a proper General Committee to find out if I really sued the church. They equally ignored the constitutional provision that states that all that a General Committee could do if for any reason the removal of an officer becomes necessary is to recommend it but wait until the two-thirds of General Council in session ratify it.
THE ISSUE OF SUSPENSION
Suspension as a form of discipline in the Assemblies of God is designed to serve a spiritual and holy purpose and not to achieve political and vindictive purpose. The purported suspension pronounced on me on March 6, 2014 was the meanest exercise of discipline. It was motivated by hatred, god-fatherism, envy and opportunism. It fell short of a legal General Committee.
Quorum was not Formed:
The body that pronounced that suspension was a wrong one. The so-called General Committee did not have up to twenty unit heads out of about 105 unit heads. In other words, it didn’t have a quorum. In the roll call, according to the video, majority of the Districts were absent. Observers were used as voting members. This was in addition to the fact that the process was wrong. The GS is the only one authorized by the constitution to call for a General Committee.
It Consisted of Wrong Participants:
The Ambassadors of the Kingdom filled the hall. The Ambassadors were to participate only if their Districts delegated them to come. But being Ambassadors did not automatically qualify them to be there and do business. Rather, they were supposed to be there as a party having a case with the GS.
Unfortunately, it was the Ambassadors who wrote petitions against me, they judged me, convicted me, condemned me and punished me. They moved the motions to nail me, example, Ihukwumere, Mike Okoro, etc. These were the same people who signed the petition against me. Abuka continued to act as the Legal Adviser, not minding that he was a signatory to the petition written against me as the chairman. The Ambassadors were treated as men that had immunity to indictment and as above the law.
The Retired EC/Officers
The Constitution states that out of all the retired EC members and officers, it is only the retired GS that is a member of the General Committee. In the contrary, all of them that came that day were accorded automatic membership. The matter was so important to them that they brought the retired AGS, the Rev. Franklin Ukomah, from US to participate. These retired men were brought in to see if their presence could lend legitimacy and importance to the illegal meeting. Of course, they desperately needed to do that because that would be the first time to remove a GS. They knew it and plotted it before coming.
The Retired General Superintendent
The retired GS here is Rev. Dr. C. O. Osueke. Rev. Osueke’s actions that day were unethical, unconstitutional and unholy.
Unethical Act: We tell our ministers that it is against ministerial ethics for a minister who has been transferred from a church or retired from a church to be coming back and conniving with the members to inconvenience or sabotage the effort of the incumbent minister. Rev. Osueke not only connived with the members but came in to chair a meeting that removed his successor. It is like a pastor coming back to a church he has been transferred from to chair a church meeting to remove his successor. What an unholy example to our young ministers!
Unconstitutional Act: It beats my imagination that a retired GS would come to chair a meeting that the constitution has no provision for him to chair. The entire General Committee of March 6, 2014 was riddled with constitutional breaches; were it to be accorded an iota of legality, in the absence of the incumbent GS, it would have been the AGS that would chair the General Committee and not the retired GS. Rev. Osueke came because it was an opportunity he had been looking for. Unfortunately, that was a wrong opportunity.
Unholy Act: If Rev. Osueke had a holy intention for the Church, what he should have done was to lead the retired EC/Officers to come and settle the matter between the Ambassadors and the 11 EC on one side and the GS on the other side. He didn’t need to make it a public show. He tries to tell people how much he had tried to settle the matter and I obstinately rejected his moves. He had come to the EC in the same session that the Ambassadors came to speak on the University and AGMBS. The EC interacted with him cordially and it was over. There was no trouble by then.
When he invited me for a private talk which was done in his house, what he told me was that he had been informed by the principal officers of the Evangel University that the Secretary to the NUC told us to return to status quo, and the status quo was that it was the Board of Trustees (BOT) he had chaired before he retired that was legal and that the status quo meant that he should resume being the chairman of the BOT. He meant that the new BOT that I was chairing was a wrong one. He concluded, therefore, that I should call a meeting of the Ambassadors, the Governing Council and the EC to correct these errors. I told him that it wasn’t what the NUC Secretary said. Was this what the retired GS means when he says that he had given me several pieces of advice but I did not heed.
My people have this parable that the rat said that what annoyed him was not that people killed him but that after killing him the killers began to display his dead body before people to watch. If Rev. Osueke had a holy motive, he should have only stopped at chairing the meeting that purportedly suspended me. But beyond that, he tours the zones with the illegal EC to tell people how bad I am. Without scruples, he and others engage in assassination and defamation of my character. Each one of them takes his turn to say unholy and horrible things against a fellow anointed man of God. When you listen to him and others speak against me, you will see a people whose motive is to achieve a political purpose. That political purpose is to get rid of Paul Emeka and replace him with Chidi Okoroafor.
If Rev. Osueke and other participants were convinced that they were going to a normal and holy business, they would not have brought more than five hillucks’ loads of police men, mobile and conventional, the civil defence men and soldiers from Enugu and Umuahia through Abuja connection. They started it all.
I am convinced that the plot to remove me was the unholiest plot of the century. It was anything but holy. It was driven by hate, a long-held desire to revenge a perceived a personal wrong. It was driven by a passionate desire to make good his plot to enthrone his god-son Chidi Okoroafor. It is necessary to inform you, according to their video tape, that even before coming to the meeting, they had decided what to do to me, and the least of these evil plots was to step me down. This they decided to do even when they had not heard from me. During the meeting, they used votes to decide whether I would be stepped down or be suspended. In Assemblies of God, we do not use votes to decide the suspension of a person. You cannot decide the punishment of an adulterer, a thief, etc. with votes. Therefore, if I really had sinned and they knew it, there wouldn’t have been any need to vote to decide which discipline to mete out on me.
It is true that they try to intimidate the unit heads with threats of suspension and to shut their mouths up; one of these days, some of them will speak out, if not confront them. You cannot lead the church with threats and intimidations. They accuse me of being autocratic, but they go about issuing orders and threats to people the way no leaders had ever done. They said that by going around defending myself against their allegations that I was campaigning, but they are going around now to tell the people that Paul Emeka is the worst man on the face of the earth. I handled issues, but they assassinate my character and never tell the people what I have done.
THE STATUS OF THAT SUSPENSION
The suspension pronounced on me on March 6, 2014 lacked merit. The body that administered it cannot be described as a church but a concourse of stal-warts of a political party who were bound by an oath to do evil, to suspend the General Superintendent of the Assemblies of God, Nigeria. That meeting was a nullity and an embodiment of illegality and not the holy church of Christ. That was not the church of Assemblies of God. It is like a gathering of a mixed multitude playing in the church premises but suddenly turn around to pronounce suspension on the pastor of the church because he advises them to stop making noise. That is not the legitimate body to suspend that pastor.
ATTEMPTS AT RESOLUTION
Rev. Osueke, the illegal EC, and the Ambassadors have strategically closed all doors for arbitration, reconciliation or resolution of the matter. They rebuff any attempts at creating any forum where people could possibly hear my own side of the story. They want to keep telling multiple falsehoods about me to the people without allowing the people to hear from me. The following are the peace moves that people have made so far which they rebuffed:
1. A group of District Superintendents have gone to the Rtd. GS to broker peace, but he turned them off
2. My wife, myself, three other DSs have gone to him for reconciliation. It was there that I made it clear to him that I did not sue the church. He turned the move down.
3. Enugu PFN church leaders, bishops and elders have gone to Rtd GS, AGS, and GT for the resolution of this matter, but they turned them down
4. Even though Dr. Uma Ukpai erroneously participated in that illegal General Committee, he later made two attempts at reconciliation, but they refused
5. The National PFN leaders have made two attempts to broker peace, but the Rtd GS and other officers turned them down
6. The Managing Director of the Peace Mass Transit, Dr. Sam Onyishi, has made attempts to broker peace, but they refused to cooperate.
7. The Nigerian Evangelical Fellowship (NEF) made attempt to come in, but they blocked them
1. In October last year, the Ambassadors of the Kingdom published their false allegations in the Champion Newspaper stating that I misappropriated N450 million, but nobody told them to stop such
2. In the same month, they published the same in The Nation newspaper, and these leaders enjoyed it
3. They went to Imo radio, Owerri, and announced it, nobody told them that they were washing the church’s dirty linings in the public
4. They went to Abia Broadcasting Station and announced it, and they were happy that Paul Emeka was being scandalized
5. They posted their false accusations on the internet for the world to read that the GS of the Assemblies of God, Nigeria, Rev. Prof Paul Emeka, misappropriated the church’s money; they all enjoyed it
6. This year they have published these false allegations against me in the Daily Newswatch, ThisDay, Daily Mirror (twice)
I had restrained myself from responding for a long time because I recognized that as the leader of the church I should be reluctant in dealing with the press. But on the other hand, I reasoned that to keep quiet indefinitely and fail to respond to these massive documents of false allegations would be adjudged as an admission of the allegations. I now thought it wise to grant one interview to the papers. I am still going to do another one because as one who ministers to the public, I need to straighten the facts for them to get the truth. By the time they have read these publications, they will know the truth.
TIME TO TAKE A STAND
I wish to use this concluding part to challenge the unit heads, presbyters, ministers and all members to rise up and take a stand. It is in our hand to save this church; both history and our children will not forgive us for keeping silent and watching a group of presumptuous desperados kill this church, damning all consequences and desecrating all decorum.
I also wish to commend those Districts and brave individuals who have come out boldly to identify with this course. Join us to save this church. You don’t need anybody to tell you that those initiators of the General Committee are responsible for the calamities that have befallen the church today. They open their mouths wide to speak about Paul Emeka. To attract sympathy, intermittently, they interrupt their speeches by forcing out shrieks and cupping their eyes tightly to distil tears to convince their listeners that Paul Emeka has not even known Jesus Christ as his Lord and Saviour. I here challenge all of them to an open debate concerning the funds of the church. That day, people will know that nobody can find one kobo of the church in my hand. On the other hand, the church will be surprised that many of my accusers live in glass houses and presumptuously throw stones. Their shady financial deals will be exposed. It is time for them to stop itinerating from one zone to another, talking of standard when they have no standard. There new theme now is “standard.”
1. What is standard when there are massive allegations of immoral advances to ladies from among the leaders?
2. What is standard when the names of ladies have been mentioned to whom sexual advances and compromises have been made from the leaders
3. What is standard when people are mentioning names of places, the young girls, the widows, the married and the unmarried, who have been relating immorally with the so-called leader or leaders? Both ministers and members are rumouring it. Is it how these men will lead a holy church like the Assemblies of God?
4. The people making these accusations of immorality against this leader mention the name of the leader, and they are willing to come out and testify if they are called to do so. What these leaders should do is to invite these accusers and purge themselves of these accusations before talking of standard.
5. What is standard when a leader takes advantage of his being in charge of money to unilaterally make purchases, award contracts, live bigger than his income can afford? Yet, they boldly accuse an innocent man without a single proof. According to the structure we have among the officers regarding bank mandate, among the four officers, a cheque with the signatures of any two is honoured. The GS does not have “A” mandate as to suspect that he can draw money alone. There is no account of the General Council that he is a sole signatory to. How then did he take all those funds that the Ambassadors accuse him of?
6. Corruption and immorality must be dealt with before anyone can talk of standard.
The challenge I throw to all of us today is to rise and save this church. Let us rise and reject coup in the Assemblies of God. God will help the church.
Rev. Prof Paul Emeka
Assemblies of God, Nigeria.