Division hits Anglican Church as members sue bishop for allegedly embezzling N260 million, manipulating election
– A bishop of the Anglican Church has been sued by church members for allegedly embezzling N260m
– They have also accused him of manipulating elections for a new bishop and influencing the decision of trustees to favour his choice
– They said his actions ran contrary to the established principles contained in the church’s constitution
Ten aggrieved members of the Lagos diocese of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) who were dissatisfied with the process by which a new bishop was elected, have filed applications before a Lagos division of the Federal High Court.
The aggrieved persons dragged the trustees of the church and five others before the court, Premium Times reports.
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gathers that the plaintiffs allege that the election was manipulated. They are also praying the court to order the current bishop of the Lagos diocese, Adebola Ademowo, to refund N260 million which he allegedly collected from the diocese and used for his personal purpose.
The plaintiffs explained that the trustees of the church commenced steps towards the election of a new bishop when Ademowo’s tenure began to wind down. They subsequently nominated Messrs Olumakaiye and Fape for the position.
However, they said Ademowo began campaigning for the election of Olumakaiye; and also took various steps to influence the church’s primate, and other bishops who were required to vote. This, they said, was contrary to the established principles contained in the constitution of the church which stipulates that elections are to be conducted by secret ballot.
Explaining how exactly Ademowo ‘influenced’ the election, they said he approved the publication of photographs of himself and Olumakaiye in the church’s calendar; wherein the latter was described as the former’s ‘godson’ and successor.
They said Ademowo also exercised undue influence on Primate Okoh; as well as approved distribution of cash gifts to the bishops who were to vote.
Olumakaiye was later elected as the church’s new bishop.