|Evil pastors do
By HENRY UMAHI(firstname.lastname@example.org)
Saturday, August 23, 2008
By their calling, pastors ought to be the conscience
of society. As God’s representatives on earth, their
responsibility is to ensure that a healthy moral
temperature prevails. Like ancient prophets, they are
expected to warn the people about the dangers of
disobedience and guide them to the path of
righteousness. Indeed, pastors ought to live by example.
Today, however, pastors have become a problem to
society. In Nigeria and elsewhere, the odd character
shown by many so-called men of God has put a big
question mark on the principles and doctrines of the
faith they profess. The situation is such that prefixing
one’s name with the title of pastor in today’s world
often attracts immediate suspicion. This sad development
is as a result of the glaring and expanding scope of
misdemeanouvers of some of them.
Indeed, the church has become a house of scandals and
controversies in these shores. These ills have become
firmly entrenched, taking root like an incurable cancer
that is feasting on the afflicted body. Hence despite
the number of churches springing up in all nooks and
crannies, a wave of iniquities is sweeping across the
land. What seems to have emerged is a convoluted
practice of the religion held under siege from within.
Shola Oshunkeye, editor, The Spectator,
captures the scenario thus: “There are many of such
preachers out there, masquerading as angels of light.
They are fathers of lies, mothers of hypocrisy, who,
according to 1 Timothy chapter 4, have had their
conscience seared with hot iron. They are learned. They
have sugarcoated tongues. They feign sympathy and fake
listening ears in order to milk their unfortunate
audience. They bamboozle with supernatural powers
obtained from sources other than those stipulated by the
holy writ, and use dubious, sometimes pre-arranged
miracles to railroad unsuspecting citizens to their mega
“To them, church is not the stairway to heaven but a
super highway to obscene wealth. And no trick is too
dirty to ensnare their luckless victims. While many in
their congregation cannot afford three decent meals in a
day, the evil pastors, who are mostly located in the new
wave Pentecostal movement, ferry collections to their
banks in Bullion vans every Sunday. They build churches
that compete with the Basilica in Rome, cruise about
town in state-of-the-art cars, and spend vacations in
the most exotic tourist destinations across the world.
Safe for a few, the majority of them would never lift a
finger to ameliorate the sufferings of their poor
Indeed, rapists, murderers, thieves and sundry criminals
desecrate the pulpit and drag the name of God in the
mud. A few examples will suffice.
Raped to death
It is a story that chills the bones and numbs the
senses. Even the devil himself may be shocked that one
of his agents masquerading as a minister of the gospel
could perpetrate an evil of such astounding proportion.
Recently, one Pastor Henry Evbotokhai of Miracle
Deliverance Ministry, Ira Odan, Era, Ojo Local
Government Area, Lagos reportedly raped Covenant Elijah,
an 11-year old girl to death.
The JSS1 student of Caritas Model College, Onireke,
Lagos, was taken to the pastor by her mother, Mrs. Arik
Bassey, for spiritual deliverance. Unfortunately, the
paedophile delivered her unto death, abandoning her
corpse in his bedroom with congealed blood around her
Devastated beyond measure by the way and manner her only
child died, Arik, a widow, is at the verge of losing her
mind. Now, she wears a robe of anguish, intermittently
speaking to herself even as she has lost even a vestige
of respect for pastors. In fact, she now sees all of
them the devil incarnate.
The grieving mother told Saturday Sun, “whatever respect
I had for anyone who claims to be a pastor has vanished
with my daughter’s death. They are all merchants of
Mr. Alfred Uzuh from Amairo, Oboro, Ikwuano, LGA, Abia
State is another person whose regard for men in cassock
has taken a nosedive. His daughter, Ann, an
undergraduate of the University of Lagos, was doused in
fuel and set ablaze in July 2006 by weird cleric, Emeka
Ezeuko alias Rev. Dr. King, for alleged fornication.
Ironically, during King’s celebrated trial at the Ikeja
High Court, which lasted from September 26, 2006 to
January 11, 2007, witnesses testified that the
self-acclaimed “god” and “Jesus of our time” is, indeed,
a god of fornication. Kelechi Chikere, one the female
witnesses, gave a lurid account of how the bearded grand
overseer of the Christian Praying Assembly (CPA), Ajao
Estate, Lagos turned her into a sex object. The lady,
who told the court that King compelled her to serve his
meals naked, said the notorious pastor impregnated her
several times and compelled her to procure abortion on
each occasion. She added that her womb was in a terrible
state as a result.
While delivering judgment on the matter, Justice Kayode
Oweyola said: “The variant demonstrated by the accused
is a throw back to the dark ages and an assault to the
gains attained by humanity in the areas of respect for
human dignity, freedom and liberty.”
He, therefore, condemned the accused to death by
Rev. King, who is cooling his heels at the Kirikiri
Maximum Prison while awaiting the hangman, was also
notorious for wife snatching and forcing his followers
to adopt his name. He equally made unsubstantiated
claims of working miracles.
Speaking with Saturday Sun, the
69-year-old grief stricken father lamented: “A day
before she was burnt by King, I had a terrible dream
about her, and went to the church to see if I can have
the chance to inform her that there could be danger. But
when I got there, the people I asked said they did not
know who she was. One later told me that she was Rev.
King’s wife and was in hospital.
“In the hospital, I saw a terrible sight. Anna was like
a roasted yam on hospital bed. After a long inquiry it
took her time to tell me Rev. King set her on fire. What
she said was ‘Daddy, Rev King has done his worst. He did
this to me.’ Few days after, she died. I had thought
before then that she lived in UNILAG as a student and
just attended the church. It was that day I knew she
actually lived with Rev. King. That is how I lost all I
Abortion in the mix
The assertion that there is no art to tell the heart of
a man from his looks moped into ugly reality for Miss
Ebere Eze when she jumped into bed with a smashing young
Catholic priest, Rev. Father Patrick Okon of Somolu
parish in Lagos.
In a celebrated report, Ebere narrated how the cleric
deceived her into believing that he was a lawyer on an
attachment with Saint Kizito Catholic Church, Iju,
Agege, Lagos. He promised her marriage and even gave her
an engagement ring. The tale began to twist when she got
pregnant and disclosed same to him.
Hear her: “He said I should take pills but I told him I
wanted to have the baby. But he refused and said that
babies take too much money to maintain. When he found
out I was not yielding to the abortion idea, he tricked
me on an outing one day. That was in June (2007). He
took me to somewhere in Sagamu. The place looked like a
club and they play golf there. He ordered a bottle of
Star beer and he wouldn’t want me to take soft drink. He
ordered a bottle of (small) Guinness Stout for me. As
soon as my drink was opened, that was when he remembered
he forgot something in the car and asked me to go and
get it for him.”
At that point, the wolf shed the clothing of the lamb.
Ebere continued: “I don’t know if he put something in
the drink because I slept off and didn’t know how I got
back inside his car with him. I woke up and saw myself
padded in sanitary towel flooded in my blood. I asked
him what happened he said I should not worry. He told me
to ‘clam down, let’s go home first.’ He wanted to drop
me off at Oshodi. I said no, that I couldn’t go to my
brother’s house because I couldn’t understand what was
happening to me. So he dropped off and asked me to take
a bike and wait for him at Saint Peter and Paul Church,
Somolu. I was in his place for two days. He used to
prepare food for me while he was hiding me. He did not
want anybody to know I was in his apartment.
“After the abortion, I started having severe stomach
pains and each time I talked about those problems, he
never regarded it as anything. He would always tell me
that I would be well. My body started swelling and
smelling from inside and outside. Then I told him I will
let everyone know of it. Since then, he started calling
me regularly that he wants to see me. But, I’m afraid
since he had threatened to kill me if I scandalized him.
Several times, he had requested to see me, but I’ve been
To authentic her narration, Ebere, who hails from Nnewi,
Anambra State, tendered a video recording of some of her
intimate moments with Reverend Father Okon.
“After the abortion, I confronted him. He apologised for
not seeking my consent before the abortion. That was
when my spirit told me to record every of our dealings
(on my camera phone) in case he tries to deny our
affairs. I spent two days in his house and I decided to
record every happening between us. It was after he
removed the pregnancy and we were both sleeping naked.
He likes being naked.”
It is a naked truth that Pastor Noah Ajiboye of the
Celestial Church stole in from the pit of hell to wreak
havoc. Even a stone heart would melt at the sight of the
grievous harm he brought upon his 17-year-old stepson,
Dare, for allegedly stealing a telephone handset. He
damaged the teenager’s two hands recently. Now, only a
miracle could make the hands useful again.
Ajiboye said: “Actually, when I was beating him, he was
unruffled, which made me to resort to a higher
punishment. I only tied his two hands to the back (for a
week) and locked him up in a room without food and
water, so that he cold learn his lesson.”
After damaging his stepson’s hands, he asked the boy to
lie to the doctor that he had fire burns. This, he
admitted, was to prevent the doctor from inviting the
police if the truth was told. But the truth came out and
when the police stormed Ajibola’s church, they found a
A native doctor and man
Similarly, in May this year, the police arrested a
couple said to be pastors for alleged involvement in
ritual killing. Pastors Benjamin Ojobu and his wife,
Patience, who are members of OO Obu in Asaba, Delta
State were arrested with a human head believed to be
that of a teenage girl.
Benjamin confessed to using human heads to prepare
rituals for church members, adding that he functioned as
a pastor and native doctor at the same time.
“I got it (human head) through somebody called John, who
works in a cemetery. He brought it for me and said I
should buy and I bought it for N3,000. Yes, I am a man
of God. But I do this outside church hours. I am both a
native doctor and a man of God. This is my personal
practice. I do it to complement my church job and I have
been assisting a lot of people with it. I use human
skulls to do charms for prosperity, to make money and
for protection. After preparing the charms, I give them
to members of our church and other people who are not
members,” the 51-year-old man explained.
A couple of years ago, Pastor Chris Okotie of Household
of God, had warned a pastor neighbour to terminate his
relationship with another cleric whom he said “is
neither a minister of Jesus Christ nor a brother in the
Lord but an occultist, practising shamanism with
Okotie stressed: “His desire is to enter the church of
God and paralyse God’s people with mysticism. He denies
the power of God is operative in the gospel. These
agnostics preach holiness accompanied with signs and
wonders. The power of signs and wonders is embedded in
the mystery of iniquity. It is all calculated to
deceive, entrap and entice you.”
The apocalypse of brotherhood drew flaks in the
Pentecostal Christian family and beyond.
Mysticism or ritualism was suspected when Pastor John
Ugoh of Love and Faith Bible Ministry, Ijegun, Lagos
allegedly had licentious acts with male teenagers in his
neighbourhood. The 47-year-old indigene of Mbaise, Imo
State, was accused of habitually sucking the private
part of boys between 14 and 15 years. His victims were
also said to be sick after the encounter. He was,
however, arrested by the police on April 19, 2008
following complaints lodged by the victims’ families.
Thieves at the Lord’s
The money mongering inclination of some pastors in these
shores was taken to a disgusting level in 2005 when the
$4 million provided by renowned American cleric,
Evangelist Reinhard Bonnke, for a crusade in Nigeria
developed wings. According to reports, those saddled
with the responsibility of using the fund to organize a
serious evangelical campaign simply pocketed it.
In the same vein, a pastor of the Mountain of Fire and
Miracle Ministries (MFM) recently attempted to rob the
church’s Prayer City along the Ibadan/Lagos expressway.
He was caught with a gang of armed robbers while
perfecting their evil plan. He confessed that he and
another church worker usually tempered with the church’s
Preacher kills wife,
As it is in Nigeria, so it is elsewhere. Pastor Anthony
Hopkins of the Inspirational Tabernacle Church of God in
Jackson, Alabama, USA is currently facing charges of
murder, rape and incest. The 37-year old allegedly
killed his wife, Arietha, 36, after she caught him
sexually abusing their daughter in a bathroom in
November 2004. Thereafter, he hid her body in the
freezer in the laundry room of their home. He was nabbed
a few weeks ago just after delivering a sermon to a
congregation that included his other seven children,
following an affidavit deposed to by the daughter. Now
19, the girl alleged that the father had been having sex
with her since was she was 11.
A Ghanaian Pastor, Mr. Kojo Nana Obiri-Yeboah was
arrested in June by detectives at the Entebbe Airport as
he attempted smuggling in an electric-shock device that
when activated would send shock waves through anyone he
touches, making them assume that they had been touched
by the Holy Spirit.
According to reports, “he would lace his body with the
gadget’s low-volt electricity and once he touches
anybody on crusade ground, the person would fall –
ostensibly gripped by the Holy Spirit.”
It was gathered that many Nigerian pastors use the
device to hoodwink unsuspecting members of the public,
who regard them as powerful men of God.
It’s an endless tale really.
The main problem
The above stories are just a few of the evil pastors
perpetrate. There are many unreported ones. These
pastors have turned the supposed house of God into “den
of thieves” and sexual adventures. The pastors are
having a field day because of the low spirituality of
church members, who cannot discern between the spirit of
God and that of the devil.
To be sure, people are swayed by wonders pastors
perform, without caring to know the sources of power
used. They do not care that some of these pastors take
devilish power from occult chambers, from India and
other sundry countries, with which they hypnotise
Also, the economic situation in the country and the
desperation to have children have made people preys of
pastors. Many of the pastors, in preaching prosperity,
tell their members that their situation would change for
the better if they are prayed for. Women, who are
looking for the fruit of the womb easily fell for these
pastors, who claim that their prayers would get them
pregnant. For the pastors, the more people have problems
the better, as they would have more “clients” to
Bishop Joseph Ojo, National Secretary of the Pentecostal
fellowship of Nigeria (PFN) and senior pastor, Calvary
Kingdom Church (CKC), premised the development on what
he described as the invasion of the pulpit by area boys
According to him, many who were not called but called
themselves for the sake of the stomach, are the ones
perpetrating all sorts of iniquity. In other words,
self-styled pastors are those deceiving the victims.
He said: “The biggest challenge facing Christendom,
especially Pentecostal Christianity in Nigeria is the
invasion of people who are not called by God. You know,
there are people that, if I want to use a very loose
term I will call them touts, have hijacked the pulpit.
They are not representing Christ. They are representing
their stomach. They are representing their worldly
mundane desires. That’s the truth.”
Pastor Success Ibeakanma of The Masters Royal Choice
Revival Ministries, Ketu, Lagos averred that the
development is just a fulfillment of the word of God, as
recorded in Matthew 24.
He said: “The Bible says that in the last days, iniquity
shall abound and the love of many shall wax cold. We are
living in the last days, hence these things are
“Another factor is impatience. This has caused more harm
than good in the life of many ministers of the gospel.
This is responsible for many ministers trying to jump
the gun and manipulate their ways to be now where they
suppose to be in 20 years time. They will lack wisdom
and maturity because there is a level of maturity and
wisdom required for every level of ministry or
“So, what such over ambitious pastors meet at this
higher levels, without wisdom and maturity, leads them
into terrible mistakes because they will like to cover
up, thereby exposing themselves”.
“Our Lord Jesus told His disciples to watch and pray so
as not to fall into temptation. But today, most
ministers only pray without watching. You cannot watch
without prayers and praying without watching may lead to
these developments. One other thing is that some
ministers seek short cut to anointing. That is seeking
for power through the wrong means in other to be like
According to Mr. Chimezie E. Obasi, a Lagos businessman,
the disturbing trend in Nigerian churches today is that
it has become an all comers’ affair. He added that
churches are hardly distinguishable from business
centres in terms of the quest to increase turnover.
Said he: “Most of these new breed churches only preach
prosperity. The issue of salvation is rarely addressed
and this impacts negatively on the leadership as well as
followership. The messages are shallow; the preachers
are not grounded in the gospel they preach”.
Obasi offered another perspective, saying that native
doctors have studied the situation and repackaged
themselves as pastors. Hence they are prowling, looking
for who to devour.
Bishop Matthew Oluremi Owadayo, the Bishop of the Egba
Diocese of the Anglican Church, shares the view that
false pastors have turned churches to business centres.
He said: “I agree that some pastors have turned the
church into a business ventures. Some of them, after
their attempts to find means of livelihood had failed,
would hire a classroom and start a church.”
The way out, he advocated, is that there should be
paradigm shift with regards to setting up churches. He
urged the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) to do a
critical examination of the situation, with the view to
checking the modus operandi of religious organization,
especially one-man outfits.
On account of the inappropriate behaviours of pastors,
fiery Pentecostal Preacher, Tunde Bakare said the church
He words: “Look at the shame we (pastors) faced after
the Bellview crash, and they found so much stolen money
(about N6 billion) in one of the pastor’s bank accounts.
The bubbles burst when a second wife surfaced to contest
the man’s estate. Does that glorify God? The person
preached every day in church. He belonged to a church.
How much has he given as tithe and tax? Honestly, I
don’t mind churches being examined. I don’t mind.”
Bakare described as “outright madness” the trend whereby
pastors are the sole signatories to a church’s finances.
In his opinion, “trustees are not supposed to be
beneficiaries of a trust,” regretting: “We have given
God enough bad name in this country, all in the name of
“The corruption in the church stinks to the highest
heavens. The church stinks absolutely and a sick church
cannot bring healing to a dying world. We are guilty.
Let us repent before God.”
However, Pastor Dennis Inyang of Sure Word Assembly,
Okota, Lagos affirmed the development is not
particularly strange or unexpected. He argued: “There
has always been real and fake pastors, just like other
fields. Sadly, the deeds of a few bad ones make more
news. Most pastors are not into evil.”