The Anglican Church in Nigeria has been hit with claims of corruption and bribery in the recent election of a bishop for the diocese of Lagos.
The story, appearing in the Sundiata Post; alleges that the effort to name Olumakaiye to the post was instigated by outgoing bishop Adebola Ademowo, allowing him to maintain control and was abetted by Archbishop Okoh.
“During the recent Episcopal Synod of the Church in Ilorin, Kwara State, the leadership of the church in a statement by its General Secretary, Rt. Rev. (Dr.) Aydeji Fagbemi, announced that a number of new bishops and archbishops had been elected.
The Rt. Rev. Olumakaiye, according to the statement, would be transiting from the Diocese of Osun North East to Lagos.
However, the mood among members of the congregation in Lagos suggested a strong disaffection and clear opposition to the election of Olumakaiye, seen to have been imposed by the outgoing Diocesean Bishop of Lagos, The Most Rev. (Dr.) Adebola Ademowo.
For instance, a statement issued in Lagos at the weekend signed by one Mr. Ade Doherty on behalf of members of the church and who claimed to be aggrieved over the said election of Olumakaiye, stated that his election was stage-managed, not influenced by the Holy Spirit and as such unacceptable.
The statement reads: “The so-called election of Olumakaiye at the recent conference of Bishops in Ilorin was a clear manipulation of the House of Bishops who were ‘teleguided’ by both Ademowo and The Primate, the Most Revd. (Dr.) Nicholas Okoh.
“Of course, we have it on good authority that huge sums of money exchanged hands to facilitate the so-called election of Olumakaiye and majority of our members in Lagos stand united in opposition to this mischief. It is a charade and can never stand.”
They also claimed that such action by the House of Bishops was a way of trying to elongate the tenure of Ademowo.
It was also alleged that he (Ademowo), in order to perfect the election manipulation, facilitated a multi-million naira house for Primate Okoh in the Lekki area of Lagos.”
In a statement, the church of Nigeria strongly denied the allegations;
“The attention of the Episcopal Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has been drawn to publications in the social media about the February 6 election of a successor to the incumbent Bishop of the Diocese of Lagos, who retires in August 2018. These publications are obviously not intended to do any good to the church. They are in the least intended to misinform and mislead the unsuspecting public.
This particular election was held alongside four others at the Cathedral Church of St Barnabas, Ilorin in the Diocese of Kwara, Kwara State in accordance with the church’s laid down rules and regulations. The event was free and fair.”
The statement asked the public and church embers to ignore the allegations, calling them baseless, malicious lies
“We call on the discerning public, especially all Anglican faithful to disregard the said malicious publications in their entirety as they are baseless and without any iota of truth. The bishops of the Church of Nigeria remain resolute and united in their determination to uphold godliness and righteousness in their service to God and humanity.
We also call on our brethren who have fallen into this temptation of seeking to destabilize the church to use this period of Lent to seek God’s face in repentance that He may grant them forgiveness and time for amendment of life.”
At this time, no proof of the allegations has been offered and no investigation has been announced.
image: Humphrey Olumakaiye