Written by IFEANYI IZEZE
Mischief, a major preoccupation of the human mind is a tendency that can make someone go extreme length to cause the target high jinks. Absurdity is absurdity no matter how you try to paint or justify it.
How could an investigation that was initiated and widely reported in July 2013 suddenly became breaking news in September 2014? Is it not clear that whoever was behind the presentation of the report of the UK Commission’s inquest as though it just commenced with the suit filed against Rev Chris Oyakhilome by his wife, has some malicious and wicked intents and a deliberate effort to obfuscate issues in the pending divorce proceedings before a UK court?
As clearly explained in 2013 by the Charity Commission, which is the regulator of charities in England and Wales “the purpose of the inquiry is to “determine whether there has been any mismanagement or misconduct on behalf of the charity trustees; to establish whether charitable funds have been properly applied and take appropriate remedial action if necessary.”
If the UK Authourity had any grievous allegation against the Church- Christ Embassy, it would not have bothered to state unequivocally that “the activities of the church would not be suspended by the ongoing accounts audit process being handled by the international audit and accounting firm, Mazars, as the firm is expected to work with the pastors of the church to ensure its religious and charity activities continue as before.”
Is the investigation into Christ Embassy’s finances by the UK Charity Commission the first of such auditing of non-governmental and charity organisations including churches operating within the country? The answer is: not at all! That was what the commission was set up in the first instance to do for the British government and it does that on most charity organisations including churches based in the UK.
It would be recalled that between 2002 and 2005, the Charity Commission appointed KPMG to act as interim managers to Kingsway International Christian Centre, KICC, founded by a Nigerian-born Uk citizen, Matthew Ashimolowo.
But in the malicious mindsets of those sponsoring these publications of falsehood, most of the reports described Christ Embassy and KICC as two Nigerian churches. Is this not shameful that in their haste to pull down Nigerian –born preachers, they didn’t even bother to find out that KICC is not a Nigerian church? It was established in the UK but has branches in Nigeria unlike Christ Embassy that was established in Nigeria and now has branches all over the world including UK.
By the way, what happened to Ashimolowo’s KICC after the Charity Commission’s investigation? The church became stronger and started doing bigger things and spreading like wildfire. This is true.
This is what the UK Charity Commission is asking: You (Christ Embassy) are supposed to be actively engaging in charity work, show us your financial (funding) records. So what is wrong in that? It is a well-known fact that Christ Embassy Church has been actively involved in rehabilitation of street children in several countries including Nigeria and the United Kingdom in a programme it calls Inner City Mission. This involves removing homeless/street children and teenagers from the street, housing them and sending them to school to any level they are ready to go. The church solely funds the feeding, clothing, school fees, medical and general maintenance of the children and this has been on for several years.
Also, in war-torn areas like South Sudan, Congo, Central African Republic amongst several others, the Church through its Inner City Mission and other arms of its charity efforts sends help in terms of food, clothing, medicines, building materials and other materials to help cushion the sufferings of these people in crisis areas particularly women and children. The Church also, according to available resources, sends humanitarian services (materials and services) to crisis areas such as when Haiti was hit by the devastating earth quake and the subsequent flooding and even to the United States during the several hurricane devastations in parts of the United States.
The church sends Bibles and other Christian books free of charge to some European countries including the UK. Also it sends such materials to countries in Africa, Asia and even United States of America. And the missionaries sent to these countries are funded by the church also.
The above are just a minute part of the charity and missionary efforts of the Church-Christ Embassy. So there is every need for the regulatory agency to be interested in what they are doing.
Although the UK Charity Commission was quoted by reports as saying it does not provide details of ongoing investigations of charity organisations and their activities so as not to jeopardize such investigations, several Nigerian news sites have been dangling what they referred to as the Christ Embassy’s financial statements from 2009-2012. The question is: where did these publishers get the information from? If they got it from Church’s published financial statements for the period, then why the fuss about regulatory breaches? Can one make his accounts statement public if he has anything to hide from the authourities or the public?
Then if these publishers got the figures they brandished from the UK Charity Commission which publicly stated that it is not in its code of ethics and conducts to disclose details of ongoing investigations so as not to jeopardize the chances of a thorough job, then it should be very clear that those sponsoring these publications have deliberate malicious and wicked intents? How could an agency and a government (UK) that prides itself on integrity and incorruptibility be the one releasing figures of its ongoing investigations to total strangers (from Nigeria)? So what does this say about the figures flying around as figures from the Church account?
And to show that the sponsors of this smear campaign are desperate to dent not only the image and person of Pastor Chris, but the entire Church, everyday they fabricate all sorts of lies and push them to the press. For instance, in as much as nobody is disputing that there is a pending divorce proceeding in a London Court filed by Anita Oyakhilome against her husband, Rev Chris Oyakhilome, from where did the media get the adultery allegation which the press adduced as one of what was described as “unacceptable behaviour” ? It was never an issue mentioned not even in passivity in the suit pending at the court. So where did it come from?
Whosoever introduced the adultery allegation, without doubt, has definite wicked and malicious intentions of bringing the person of Rev Chris and the Church- Christ Embassy to public infamy and ridicule. The question: what are the intentions and of what gain? Is it not clear enough that is a deliberate covert intent to rubbish the Church and its leader by introducing what people would hear and ridicule the Church and their leader-Pastor Chris? Chai there is God o!