How Redeemed Church officials reportedly “duped” church members of their millions

Oluyemi Ojudu, a civil servant, reportedly registered for a housing scheme initiated by a parish in the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, in Abuja, but seven years after he made the payment, he is yet to get his plot of land from the promoters of the scheme.

According to Premium Times, a 600-square metre plot of land was valued at N1.5 million. Each subscriber was expected to pay an initial deposit of N250, 000 while remaining payment was spread over two years. Subscribers who pay up to N900,000 would have their plot allotted to them.

Apart from the N1.5 million for the land, beneficiaries were also expected to pay an additional N500,000 for infrastructural development in the estate after they might have started developing the plot allotted to them.
A committee headed by the parish’s presiding pastor, Bisi Akande, was delegated to make sure the scheme ran without problems, but he was transferred to another parish and a new presiding pastor, Peter Imonhiosen, took over from him, during which the plots of land were purchased.
However, before the land was shared among the subscribers of the scheme, Imonhiosen was transferred to another parish but he failed to hand over the management of the scheme to his successor.
“We were all concerned as to why Mr. Imonhiosen would want to hold on to the account of the scheme. It was then crisis and fraud began as we began to see discrepancies in what we were initially told and the way money was being spent,” said a subscriber, Adebambo Adefarakan.
The Committee, in charge of the scheme, started modifying and reviewing the original terms of the scheme such as asking subscribers to make additional payments and registering the scheme with the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), as Redeemer Excellent Men Housing Foundation without informing subscribers.
“We never knew they had changed the name of the scheme. It was after the revoking and re-issuance of letters for payment that we started suspecting the activities of the committee and accused them of hijacking the whole scheme as they began to change the rules and regulations without consultations from the subscribers,” Adefarakan added.
“I am not the only person who did not get any plot allocation in spite of fulfilling all the stipulated criteria. We are many. They first started sharing the plots they got from VON estates before they moved to the one here at Pyakassa. Still, they have not given many people their plots. They are claiming that some people did not meet the deadline or rules set up. In that case, they should return some of these people’s money to them yet they are not willing to do so,” Ojodu said angrily.
Members who feel cheated in the scheme are unhappy that the church is not investigating the matter and that pastors behind the scandal are being promoted.
The General Overseer of the RCCG, Enoch Adeboye, sent a team led by a senior pastor, Pitan Adeboye, to help investigate the matter and audit the account of the project.

But subscribers complained that the investigative panel sent by the church did not invite them to state their grievances. The team only reportedly met with members of the committee.

The subscribers felt cheated and subsequently petitioned the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

The committee members, Messrs. Imonhiosen, Adeola, Mbanu, Adeagbo and Sobola were questioned by the EFCC.

The petition, signed on behalf of over 200 subscribers by their lawyer, Rotimi Adalumo, accused the board of embezzling about N600 million. The petitioners called on the EFCC to compel them (board) to “render a full and detailed account of their stewardship from 2009, when the scheme came into being, and retrieve the original land documents of the housing scheme from the church officials.”

Four years after the petition was sent to the EFCC and the Commission commenced investigations, nothing has reportedly come out of it.

The subscribers alleged that the church, using its influence and top members, ‘frustrated’ the EFCC’s investigation.

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