Unless the head of the Anglican Communion in Nigeria, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh steps in quickly to resolve the crisis currently rocking the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, it may get out of hand.
This is because some Elders of the church are opposed to the recent election of Rt. Revd Dr. H.B. Olumakaiye as the new Bishop of the Lagos Diocese and they are adamant that their views be looked into. They are popular Nigerians like Asiwaju Fola Osibo, Mr. Modupe Alakija, Chief Layi Ajayi-Bembe, Mrs. Laide Sasegbon, Mrs. Ade Abisogun, Mr. Bukola Meadows, Ms Molara and Yomi Finnih. These elders signed the 4 page petition sent to the Primate. They added that they are also opposed to the leadership style of the outgoing Bishop of Lagos Diocese, Bishop Ephraim Ademowo.
City People gathered that the fight has been on for a while. On Monday 26th February, 2018, the Elders who are 8 in number petitioned His Grace, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh via a 4 page petition, titled: OBJECTION TO THE ELECTION OF RT. REVD HUMPHREY OLUMAKAIYE AS THE NEW BISHOP OF LAGOS DIOCESE.
It reads: We, the elders of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos, once again, categorically state our objection to the notice and announcement of election and translation of Rt. Revd. Humphrey Olumakaiye and request for the immediate suspension of the election and translation.”
“We noted very sadly, that your reaction to our earlier notice of objection tends to portray a complete lack of understanding of the issues confronting the Lagos Diocese under the unfortunate leadership of Bishop Ephraim Ademowo. To put it, succinctly, it has been a period of disaster, filled with economic and financial recklessness. Some of these we shall enumerate for Your Grace to have in-depth knowledge into what we are talking about.”
“On Sunday 25th February 2018, we had the annual Vestry Meeting of the Cathedral Church of Christ, Marina, Lagos where the issues mentioned in our earlier letter to you and some other allegations were presented to our parishioners for extensive discussions and action.
Bishop Ademowo has planted hate and division in Lagos Diocese. He has been very extraordinary on the doctrine of divide and rule. We have tolerated these malignant and unchristianly posture because everyone feels we should let him complete his term and leave so that we can rebuild the love and unity in our Diocese.”
“It was quite clear and glaring to everybody, the various moves and manipulations before the election, the parading of a particular Bishop on almanacs and at various events as a godson and successor, which eventually resulted in the election of the godson of Most Revd Adebola Ademowo as his successor.”
“Further revelations are sickening. There has been continuous apparent reckless disregard for financial accountability. A situation where a retiring Bishop dictates who succeeds him, dictates the make and model of a brand-new vehicle that should be bought for him against the normal practice where the outgoing is allowed to take his official car with him and a brand new car bought for the incoming. A situation where the retiring Bishop dictates and cause to organize a send-off party for him at an unthinkable and recklessly obscene financial burden to the Diocese and on top of it all, a huge multi-million sum’s to be given to procure accommodation post retirement, without anybody raising a word, calls for deeper questions. Just at the snap of the finger, his spouse raises a multi-million naira cheque to payoff a personal debt smells of regular plundering of the treasury with reckless abandon.”
“No wonder, the picture starts to get clearer why a particular godson must succeed his godfather, “otherwise heads will roll”. The question to be asked then becomes obvious, is there anything to hide or to be covered up that only a godson can cover the backside of his godfather?”
“That the wife of the Bishop of Lagos with the Sister-In-Law of the Bishop, another Mrs. Ademowo, run two accounts that belong to Women & Girls Organisation, Diocese of Lagos, Account No. 2002571401 and Women Qffice, Diocese of Lagos, Account NO. 2002674515 both domiciled with First Bank of Nigeria, Niger House Branch, and another two similar accounts operated with Ecobank Plc.”
“Substantial levies are received from all the Churches in the Diocese of Lagos into these accounts without the duo operators ever rendering an account of the income and expenditure on the accounts at the Synod of the Diocese of Lagos?”
“That Mrs. Ademowo manages and operates the 2 accounts mentioned above exclusively with another Mrs. Ademowo, Bishop Ademowo’s sister-in-law (wife of his younger brother) as if the account is a family account.”
“The need to urgently audit these two above mentioned accounts and other facilities of the Diocese of Lagos that are associated with the accounts; with the report made own to the people of the Diocese.”
“The need to investigate the source of the N67,000,000.00 (Sixty-Seven Million Naira) that was given by Mrs. Ademowo to Bishop Ademowo to pay the personal debt owed by Bishop Ademowo to one of our Church’s Parishioner.”
“A request for the gift of N65 million Lexus Jeep, a send-forth party at Harbour Point to cost N45 million, N100 million parting gift, N200 Million already collected to build a house.”
“The issue of lack of transparency in the use and application of the Mission Seed that is collected weekly from all the churches in Lagos Diocese, that is believed to be ploughed into securing favour and influence of Bishops from less lucrative Diocese, including purchase of vehicles for some of them.”
“At the end of the extensive deliberations, a member wanted to move a motion to call for an immediate auditing of the entire accounts of the Women and Girls Organisation and Women Office and to petition the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) to investigate the whole matter relating to the fmances of the Diocese of Lagos for the past ten (10) years.”
“We will like to state categorically that we do not want Rt Revd. Humphrey
“Olumakaiye installed in Lagos because of his link with the outgoing Bishop of Lagos and a major beneficiary of the various atrocities.”
“We still believe that Your Grace, the Primate can stop Bishop Ademowo from inflicting further agony on our Diocese. If this Petition of Economic and Financial Crimes are not urgently looked into internally then we will have no choice but to make a representation to the official institution set up to look into this sort of cases.”
“We have remained silent this whole time to avoid embarrassing the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) but posterity will not forgive us if we let Bishop Ademowo perpetuate himself in this Diocese. By general acclamation and reaction, Bishop Ademowo has become a persona non-grata in Lagos and we hope Your Grace will not allow him to drag everyone down with him.”
“We have a lot of respect for you sir and we shall stop at nothing to protect the church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) as we are doing now.”
Thank you very much your grace and may the good Lord continue to grant you the wisdom to lead us aright in His service.”
City People gathered that the petition was hand delivered to the Primate who promised to look into it. When the Primate received the petition he asked the outgoing Bishop of Lagos Diocese, Bishop Adenowo to respond to the petition sent to him by the Elders. He has since replied (Check the next page for his response)