Latest News

INTERVIEW:Pastor Obafemi was economical with the truth- Pastor Akinosun





President of Christ Apostolic Church, Worldwide, Pastor Abraham O. Akinosun has reacted to comments made by former and retired President of the Church,  Pastor John Dada Obafemi in an interview he had with The Nation Newspaper titled ‘My Life as a teacher, soldier and preacher by 106-year old Nigerian (May 10 and May 17), in which he partly spoke about his years as a preacher and church official and the intrigues that led to the division in the church.  Pastor Akinosun, in this interview with the Nation Newspaper said Pastor Obafemi was economical with the truth.




In an interview with the former President and Trustee of CAC, Pastor John Dada Obafemi, he said God spared his life in order to ensure the CAC crisis is settled. Why does it look like the GEC is frustrating his efforts?



Let me first state that Pastor Obafemi, as former President of CAC is our father in the Lord. It is not my wish to join issues with him in the press. But this interview is sequel to an interview he had earlier granted your esteemed newspaper, which has become a public document.



Let me correct the first error in the question. Pastor Obafemi was a trustee of the Church until 2015. But the General Executive Council of the church at a meeting in October, 2015 removed him for running afoul of the church’s disciplinary committee standard. He went to court to challenge his removal and the court turned down his plea.



To the issue of settlement of CAC crisis, Pastor Obafemi gave you truncated truth, which is worse than half-truth because it is only the aspect favourable to him that he narrated. It is therefore outright falsehood. But, like I said earlier, I don’t want to join issues with him. All I can say is that since Pastor Obafemi retired as the president of the church in 1997, he, like all other retired officers, has never taken part in decision making process or appointments in the church. All retired officers of the church are expected to take their well deserved rest; their only link being to receive their retirement benefit and occasionally grace church celebration on invitation.



The church constitution spells out how officers are to be appointed, so the idea of a retired officer settling the crisis in the church does not suffice.



Pastor Obafemi became president three years after the crisis started. He was antagonised and attacked during his tenure by the same opponents who are still opposed to the church. Several times, he was taken to court by the same people. There were times he was dragged to police stations by the same people during his tenure as president between 1993 and 1997. He had all the opportunities in the world to end the crisis to his satisfaction, but he didn’t.



To finally answer your question, if a father wants to settle a quarrel between two of his children, the way to go is to be neutral, but aside that he had no constitutional power to initiate such settlement, he was a combatant on the side of those who had opposed him while he was president, because it was convenient for him to use the opportunity of the lingering crisis to remove somebody he didn’t like from office and pave way for his preferred candidate.



So, there was no time the General Executive Council, the highest decision making body of the church, frustrated Pastor Obafemi in resolving the crisis in the church. But the disciplinary committee of the church had to invite him, when it was observed that he was carrying out anti-church activities.



What were these anti-Church activities?



Pastor Obafemi never took part in what was going on in the church between 1997 and 2012. In 2012, he and a member of the GEC then, Elder Samuel Olatunji, opposed Pastor E. H. L. Olusheye, then outgoing president of the church for appointing officers without following constitutional provisions. Pastor Obafemi used his status as a trustee to sue Pastor Olusheye and the newly appointed officers then. Two months after the case was filed in court, both parties in the dispute agreed to settle out of court as they all reasoned that the GEC should not be seen or heard to be opposing themselves. The terms of settlement, which both parties agreed upon, was later filed in court as the consent and final judgment of the Federal High Court, which adjudicated on the matter.



One of the provisions of the terms of settlement was that the newly appointed officers should revert back to the positions they were holding before their appointments. So, as the newly appointed president at the time, I reverted back to General Superintendent. The pastor appointed as General Superintendent had resigned even before the conclusion of the case. Another provision of the terms of settlement stated that the General Executive Council, which has the power to appoint new officers, should appoint both the president and the General Superintendent. Don’t forget that I had reverted to my former position as General Superintendent. Part of the provision of the terms of settlement stated that every aspect of the church administration must be governed by the constitution. In line with that provision, I, being the highest officer of the church at the time, was acting as president, since the then president (Pastor Olusheye) had retired.



In April 2012, the GEC eventually called a meeting of its members to Ikeji Arakeji, with the aim of appointing new officers. It was at that GEC meeting that I was reappointed president and Late Pastor M. O. Agbaje emerged as General Superintendent. From then on, it was clear that Pastor Obafemi didn’t like how I emerged. In 2014, when it was time for the appointment of another General Superintendent because the incumbent was retiring, the GEC again met and appointed the current General Superintendent, Pastor S. O. Oladele. Pastor Olusheye was vehemently opposed to this appointment. He told me several times that the appointment must be changed. But I told him repeatedly that since the appointment was made in line with the provision of the church’s constitution, I would not be able to change it. It was at that stage that Pastor Olusheye, who had not been in friendly relationship with Pastor Obafemi, went to persuade him to join forces to fight the officers of the church.



Pastor Olusheye was a well-loved pastor, but I must add that he believed the end justifies the means. Whenever he wanted to achieve anything, he wouldn’t spare any means, no matter how crooked. The first step he took was to go to the same people he fought for the 17 years of his presidency and join forces with them. The second step was to reconcile with Pastor Obafemi. Don’t forget that Pastor Obafemi didn’t like how I emerged as president in 2012, and Pastor Olusheye, on the other hand, didn’t like the new General Superintendent. In order to remove us, both now saw the two of us (myself and Pastor Oladele) as their common enemy. They therefore decamped into the fold of the opposition which had fought them while they were in office. The same opposition, which our administration was still fighting at the time. The third step Pastor Olusheye took was to go to a court to swear to a false affidavit claiming that the certificate of incorporation he used to rule over the Church for 17 years was fake. He said the so-called certificate of incorporation of 1985, which was in the possession of the opposition was the authentic certificate.



In 2011, the church had won a landmark case on the issue of certificate of incorporation. The Federal High Court presided over by Justice Stephen Adah, as he then was, had ruled that the certificate of incorporation of 1995 which made both Pastors Obafemi and Olusheye as well as others, members of the board of trustees was the authentic certificate of incorporation and that since the constitution of the church was registered at the Corporate Affairs Commission in 1998, the only authentic ruling body in the affairs of CAC is the General Executive Council.



As at that time in 2015, the supreme council’s appeal against the judgment of the Federal High Court which we won, was still in the Appeal Court. Pastor Olusheye and Obafemi now went behind the church to sabotage the landmark judgment by formulating terms of settlement, which would nullify the judgment and oust all the rights the judgment gave us. In the provisions of the mischievous terms of settlement, they ousted the right of the GEC to rely on the judgement of the Federal High Court. They said the church crisis was over and new officers they would appoint with Pastor Olusheye at the helm, would rule the church for six months. To enable them file the fake terms of settlement in court, they removed overnight, the lawyer who had fought the litigation from Federal High Court to the Appeal Court, claiming they were the trustees of the church. But we thank God that we appointed another lawyer to represent us. It was in court on September 30, 2015 that we saw the new terms of settlement they filed.



So, the GEC Disciplinary Committee now invited Pastors Obafemi and Olusheye to come and defend their action as spelt out in the constitution of the church which appointed them. They refused to show up and the Disciplinary Committee recommended their removal as trustees to the GEC. The GEC eventually approved the decision and the General Council later ratified it. Pastor Obafemi later went to court to challenge his removal but he lost. The court ruled that the General Executive Council has the power to remove any erring trustee.



Pastor Obafemi alleged that Pastor Olusheye single-handedly appointed you as president and imposed you on the Church. He took the matter to court and he won, yet you have remained in the  office in clear violation of that court victory, why is this so?



Following the complain in court by Pastor Obafemi and Elder Olatunji that my appointment (as president) and C.S Fasuyi (as general superintendent) did not follow the provisions of the church’s constitution, some well-meaning individuals intervened that the case be settled out of court. Pastor Obafemi, Pastor Olusheye and those of us who were joined in the suit as respondents then met with our lawyers to draft terms of settlement. The terms of settlement made three important provisions:



    That all officers appointed should vacate their new offices and revert to their former positions.

    That the GEC, which has the power to appoint new officers, should perform the duty vested in it by the constitution.

    That the General Superintendent, shall, in line with the constitution of Christ Apostolic Church, deputise or act for the president in the absence of the president.



These terms were accepted by all parties and filed as the final judgment of the court in the case in February, 2012.



But there was an element of intrigue introduced by Pastor Obafemi soon after. He phoned the then General Secretary, Pastor Gideon Okegwemeh to call a meeting of some people, to hold in his house. Okegwemeh asked what the agenda would be, to which Pastor Obafemi replied that it was to appoint the church’s president and General Superintendent.



Pastor Okegwemeh had to remind him that he (Pastor Obafemi) went to court because he felt the appointment made by Pastor Olusheye was not constitutional and that this one he was planning would also not be constitutional and other people would likely go to court. He then appealed to Pastor Obafemi to allow the GEC to do its work.



Meanwhile, as a result of the judgment I reverted to my former position as General Superintendent. But there was already vacancy for the position of President because the former President, Pastor Olusheye had retired by January 2012. According to our constitution, when the position of president is vacant, the general superintendent would act for him until another one is appointed. I combined these two positions until April 2012 when the General Executive Council called a meeting where I was formally appointed as the substantive president, while Pastor Agbaje was appointed as the General Superintendent. I was appointed because in our constitution, anybody to be appointed into the position of president must have held office as the General Superintendent. That means I was the only eligible candidate for the position of President.



Consequently, he alleged that you also stopped his entitlement. Was that a punishment?



The problem is that Pastor Obafemi often mixes issues together. I, as Pastor Akinosun never stopped his entitlement. When the coup he plotted with Pastor Olusheye failed, he and Pastor Olusheye were invited by the Disciplinary Committee of the General Executive Council. The Disciplinary Committee of the GEC is constitutionally empowered to investigate cases of infractions committed by any officer. So, when the committee received complaint of the conspiracy and attempt by the officers to fraudulently void a monumental judgment in favour of the church, the committee invited the two former presidents but they refused to show up. The committee then recommended that their entitlements be withheld pending the time they would appear. When eventually they didn’t appear before the committee, it then recommended that they be removed as trustees. The GEC later affirmed these recommendations, but pleaded with us to pay them and the GEC later resolved to pay their entitlements.



Let me state that it was when I became President that I got the GEC to raise Pastor Obafemi’s allowance generously. You can ask him, he was on N25,000 before I raised it by several hundreds percent.



Pastor Obafemi claims that he is the only surviving trustee of CAC, one feels that if you don’t respect his age, you should have given him the honour to settle this crisis because of his status as the only surviving trustee.



Pastor Obafemi is no longer a trustee of the church. As for allowing him to settle the crisis, if he had approached the issue as a neutral arbitrator, nobody would oppose him. But he came into the fray as a combatant on the side of our opponents.



I understand you have also exceeded the 75 year limit, as stipulated in the constitution, yet you are still president.



The practice in the church is to send you on retirement at the end of the year you reach 75. It does not matter whether you become 75 in January or any other month in the year. I am not the only one who is enjoying this privilege. Pastor Olusheye became 75 on January 3rd 2012. But he stayed till December 31, 2012 before he proceeded on retirement. That is the reason I am still in service.



Pastor Obafemi said your insistence that the Supreme Council should beg your GEC and that you will only give them assistant positions are the issues preventing the unification of the Church. How far is this correct?



This is totally incorrect. We thank God that in spite of the intrigues by some people who were behind the recent activism of Pastor Obafemi, members of the Supreme Council, on their own, have seen the need to settle the crisis. We have proceeded well in peace negotiations and we almost reached final stage when we would announce to the general public that we have ended this crisis. Our position in the GEC is this: what was the cause of this crisis? Having identified the main cause to be indiscipline, how do we eliminate the causes and forge lasting unity? We believe in the GEC that if our brothers and sisters in the Supreme faction have what is required to fill any positions, they will be appointed into the positions.



But it is unfortunate that at the time we have moved far in the peace process, another crisis brewed from within our brothers’ camp, which split them into factions. What we are doing now is to get the factions united so that we can come together as a church.



Would you be willing to meet with Baba and settle all issues once and for all?



Despite our differences, we are meeting. I and some members of the Supreme Council were with Baba on January 11, 2020. Baba called me during this covid-19 lockdown to advise me on certain things he wanted us to do as our corporate social responsibility. He was glad when I told him we had done what he advised.



Baba is such a father we all respect a lot. His approach to the issue was the only thing that created differences between us.

17 comments:

  1. This interview is educative and informative. Kudos

    ReplyDelete
  2. Greed and money tearing church apart

    ReplyDelete
  3. God will uphold his church and the leaders

    ReplyDelete
  4. Our leaders, awon alase!! The lord will return his church back to the track of the true vision

    ReplyDelete
  5. The Church is marching on and the gate of hell shall not prevail in Jesus name. Amen

    ReplyDelete
  6. If this can politics could go on I the church. The question Jesus asked that "Will I meet faith when I return?" is critical.
    We now have ministers that build a materialistic congregation and stomach infrastructure

    ReplyDelete
  7. God is definitely in control of the affairs of His church.

    ReplyDelete
  8. God is definitely in control of the affairs of His church.

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hmm,lord God,restore your church.

    ReplyDelete
  10. The various legal issues here, when critically examined, are such that rose out of inordinate ambitions on some persons' part and also some persons' fear of being abandoned, sidelined or rejected after retirement but since there's a body of rules standing as constitution of the church and resolutions as to the running of Board of Trustees, it is high time the church frantically faced the conflict resolution embarked upon than getting herself weighed down by frivolities from individuals driven by fear of losing relevance. My submission, tho

    ReplyDelete
  11. Enter your comment...We called ourselves aladura yet we keep appoint for God instead of to appoint for us.
    For me in a clear mind, I've should be scrape and we can do it disciplinary committee

    ReplyDelete
  12. I liked the interview granted by our President Pastor Akinosun, initially I have a grouse with him before, but from his submission as a result of this interview granted he had explained everything to details the cause of the imbroglio in the ministry. Pa Obafemi was an old soldier he has a hard heart but a man of principle, he may be overzealous in some aspect. He has a role as the only surviving Trustee of the Church. I guess that it is not right for none Trustee member to remove an only surviving member from the constitution, I don't believe such thing could be approved by Corporate Affairs Commission except it is done in a crooked way. Trusteeship is for life except otherwise.
    I suggest the way forward to this re occurring leadership tossle that is lingering since 1998 is to realign the position of GEC (1) by picking General Suprientendent and Treasurer from the faction and later while President and the Secretary should come from the present ruling group. Or (2) select 5 persons from your side and 5 from your supreme and call Pa Obafemi as eleven person and just to broker peace. Calling this as interim leaders for Six months to re write the Constitution as to give way to new united constitition that will guide the church for another ten years or more.
    I pray that God will guide all the leaders aright for the benefit of members at large,

    ReplyDelete
  13. It's Devil assignment to conquered the church of Christ, but he was defeated by the blood of Jesus Christ, Church will remain till
    His coming.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Now so many negative things are being said about these BABAS I hope worse things will not be said about you when you retire.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Personally I think overjoyed I discovered the blogs. hufforbes

    ReplyDelete
  16. Where is the old time religion?
    Lord of our fathers, please restore us!

    ReplyDelete