Leadership crises rocking the Assemblies of God Church assumed a messier dimension on Wednesday as group loyal to Rev Chidi Okoroafor accused the District Superintendent of the church in Abuja, Rev Nicholas Anyanwu of forging a Bachelor of Arts Degree to get to the top position.
Rev Anyanwu who is from the camp of embattled Rev (Prof) Paul Emeka and Okoroafor are laying claims to the position of the General Superintendent (GS) of Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria.
The tussle between Emeka and Okoroafor over who is the authentic GS has polarised the church into two factions, leading to a protracted intra denomination crisis since 2014.
Addressing newsmen at the church premises Wednesday, Rev Hyacinth Ngene, who claimed to be the Abuja District Superintendent, revealed that Rev Anyanwu fraudulently deceived the church to get elected as the District Superintendent, Abuja.
Rev Ngene’s reaction followed a press briefing by Rev Anyanwu on Saturday, wherein he displayed a judgement by Justice Othman Musa of High Court of the Federal Capital Territory, which favoured him as the authentic District Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church, Abuja.
The judgment was delivered on July 5, 2018, in a suit filed by Anyanwu against the Chidi Okoroafor faction of the church.
Ngene said the briefing was aimed at deceiving the public, claiming that Anyanwu “wrongfully & criminally misinterpreted the judgment of the court.
“In the first instant Rev. NichoIas Anyanwu is not the District Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church Abuja District and as well not a member of the church.
“The story remains that Assemblies of God Church Abuja District held an election, wherein Rev. Nicholas Anyanwu (District Superintendent), Rev. Ngene Hyacinth (Assistant District Superintendent), Rev. Tony Ese (District Sec) Rev. Godwin Agaga (District Treasurer), Rev. Emma Ugwu (Member), Rev. Asuata (Member) Rev. Paul Adoga (Member) took part.
“Shortly after the election, there was a petition to the General council led by Rev. Dr. Chidi Okoroafor against Rev. Nicholas Anyanwu stating that the said Rev. Anyanwu deceived the church by claiming that he is a graduate with degree which he is not and fraudulently stood in for an election and emerged as District Superintendent” Ngene stated.
“Upon receiving the petition, the general council sent the petition to Rev. Nicholas Anyanwu for him to respond. He refused to respond to the petition, when the time given to him to respond expired, the general council set up a panel to thoroughly investigate the matter.
“The panel invited Rev. Nicholas Anyanwu in their meeting for him to come and clarify himself, but Anyanwu refused to answer the panel.
He stated that the presbyters met and advised Rev. Anyanwu to go and answer the panel and present his certificate to them but to no avail.
“Having failed to answer the panel, the general council suspended him and when the panel submitted their report and it was established that Rev. Nicholas Anyanwu deceived the church and disobeyed the constitution of the church, he was dismissed as the District Superintendent and ex communicated as a member of the church in line with the constitution of Assemblies of God Church” Ngene said.
According to Ngene, Rev. Nicholas Anyanwu never challenged his dismissal as the District Superintendent rather he challenged his suspension in court stating that he was not given fair hearing, that is to say rather than challenging his dismissal and expulsion just to put the record straight.
“Note also that the judgment delivered on the 5th of July, 2018 only nullified the “suspension” alleged or complained by Rev; Nicholas Anyanwu but did not nullify his dismissal as District Superintendent and expulsion as a member.
“The judgment did not also say that he is still the Abuja District Superintendent of Assemblies of God, Nigeria” Ngene posited.