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Church Members Lock Out Pastor Over Alleged Embezzlement | The Precision

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•Ajegunle Baptist Church, Agbowo, Ibadan, members outside the church house on Sunday.
    •Ajegunle Baptist Church, Agbowo, Ibadan, members outside the church house on Sunday.

 

Sunday’s
service of Ajegunle Baptist Church, Agbowo, Ibadan, was held outside
the church’s gate as some group of members aggrieved over their Pastor’s
alleged financial impropriety, improper behaviour and abuse of pulpit
locked the church.

The
aggrieved members under the umbrella of “Concerned Members”, are
insisting that church pastor, Reverend Oyewole Oyekan, leaves the church
on allegations of unilaterally running the financial affairs of the
church and banking the church’s money to the tune of over N4 million in
his personal account.
Speaking
on behalf of the concerned members, Mr Sangolade Olufemi, said, “Our
pastor has turned himself to the treasurer and financial secretary of
the church, whereas we employed him. He spends our money singlehandedly
without getting clearance from the financial secretary or church
council. He cornered the account of the school for five years. When the
school account of the school had problem, he started banking the school
money in his personal account to the tune of over N4 million. Even the
church executive does not know the actual amount with him.”
“We
reported him to the association, conference; all they were doing was to
appeal to us to give peace a chance. We have proved it beyond
reasonable ground and we want him to leave our church.”
The
crisis had begun about three years, when the group had forwarded their
grievances to the Nigerian Baptist Convention, asking that Pastor Oyekan
be axed after over 15 years of being in charge.
The
Nigerian Baptist Convention, in a letter dated December 20, 2016,
signed by Reverend D.O.E. Madoghwe, had then confirmed financial
misapplication by Reverend Dr Oyekan, though noted there was no
embezzlement.
The
convention however ruled that the pastor should not keep church money,
rather should allow the finance officers to do so, and mandated him to
follow the proper channel of handling matters in the Baptist
denomination from local church to association, conference and the
convention.
Speaking
on the allegations against him, Oyekan described the allegations as
false, noting that no report of the auditor, financial secretary,
treasurer or church in council had indicted him of embezzlement.
“Every
quarter, we report everything to the church, the auditor’s report, the
financial secretary report, treasurer report, and none of such reports
has ever indicted me for anything. The hidden agenda is that I have been
here for 18 years, and they want our members to go so that they can
share the properties of the church. In the Baptist church, we don’t do
that. They claim to be foundation members. We have people who have been
year for over 20 years, who are said to be visitors.”
“In
the Baptist church, it is the congregation that will hire and fire the
pastor. The Baptist convention has never asked me to go, they told them
to let peace reign but they did not listen. They say the Baptist
convention, the Ibadan Baptist conference, the association, the church
in conference, deacons are biased,” Oyekan said.
Speaking,
a member of the church, Dr Adesina Sunday said the “Concerned members”
against the Pastor because he stood for the truth and never allowed them
run the affairs of the church as a cabal.
“These
people called concerned members are not recognised by the church. In
Baptist church, it not a group that employs or fires a pastor, it is the
entire church. They have hidden agenda. The issue started when the
pastor suggested that the name of the church be changed. The school
account was audited and it was not discovered that there was N1.7
million, it was the pastor that revealed that there was N1.7 million.
But by an arrangement of the church, the money was returned.”
“Another
grouse is that they don’t want the pastor because he preaches the
truth. The convention said the pastor was guilty of misapplication
though there was no embezzlement. They are telling lies against the
pastor,” Adesina said.
Secretary
of the church, Deacon Oladosu Olusola, said the agitators should rather
follow due process in advancing their agitations.
“Whatever
issues anyone might have, they should follow due process by bringing
them to the church in conference. At the church, the issues were debated
and if the decision of the entire church is that the issues they
brought are valid, so be it. But they should not use self-help, bypass
procedures and force their opinions on the rest of us,” Olusola said. 
Nigerian Tribune

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