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Owodunni urges court to stay proceeding on suit against Cele trustees

By Innocent Anaba, FRIDAY,  30th   MARCH,  2001

LAGOS-FACTIONAL leader of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), Rev. Josiah Owodunni, who is challenging the amendment of the church's constitution by its trustees yesterday asked the Federal High Court sitting in Lagos to stay proceeding on the suit as he intends to go on appeal.

The court had earlier refused to grant Rev. Owodunni leave to institute the suit jointly in his name and that of CCC, rather ordering him to put the trustees on notice, though the court restrained the trustees from using the amended version of the CCC constitution 2000 for the purpose of swearing in the late Philip Ajose or any other person as the head of the church, the trustees had since challenge that order, contending that the court lacked the jurisdiction to make such order, as the suit was not properly constituted.

As yesterday hearing, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), counsel to Rev. Owodunni, asked the court to stay proceeding in the suit as he was going to the Court of Appeal to challenge the order of the court. The matter was consequently adjourned.

The church trustee had in a preliminary objection challenged the suit on the grounds that there are no competent plaintiff before the court and that there was no compliance to the condition precedent to warrant the granting of the orders sought by the plaintiffs.

The trustee further contend that the action was not properly constituted and that the relief asked for are not available to the plaintiffs.

Rev. Owodunni in an 11-paragraphs counter affidavit averred that "the action is a derivation action and is brought on behalf of the church to correct wrongs which are being committed against the collective interest of the church by the trustees."

He further averred that "the preliminary objection filed by the trustees is only an attempt to delay the timely determination of the issues in this suit."

According to his averment, that "he as a member of the registered trustee of CCC is in a position to bring this action to redress the wrongs against the church."

He averred that "on his own strength, he is entitled to bring this suit in his own name and that of CCC."


Cele's Ajose for burial today

By Sam Eyoboka, FRIDAY,  30th   MARCH,  2001

LAGOS-PASTOR of the Celestial Church of Christ Worldwide, the Reverend Phillip Hunsu Ajose, will be laid to rest today at the church's international conference centre, Imeko, Ogun State.

Pastor Ajose, whose solemn ordination was last December ratified in a Thanksgiving service on Saturday, February 24, 2001, at the Celestial City of Imeko, died barely a week after. There was an all-night wake keeping yesterday, as the body laid in state at the Celestial City.

In a tribute to the late Celestial leader, His Grace, Superior Evangelist Nosa Kenneth Amadasu, described the late Reverend Ajose as a diligent man of God who laboured to make everything in his own life a true reflection of life, especially in the manner he spread evangelism in Benin.

According to him, "Reverend Phillip Ajose's transfer to Benin City in 1961 was a divine act of God to enable him establish Celestial Church of Christ in Benin City.

"By this singular act, Phillip Ajose did not only give the Edo people the opportunity to rightly claim to be the first community to embrace Celestial doctrine in the then Western region of Nigeria, but was also sanitising as most street junctions in Benin at this time were seen as Satan's dinning tables because they played host to a myriad of ugly stinking and unsightly sacrifices of various shades and sizes."


Ajose, Celestial Church leader for burial March 30

By Charles Coffie-Gyamfi (Abeokuta), Oma Djebah and Victor Onyeka-Ben, Lagos -- Monday,March 5, 2001 
CELESTIAL City, Imeko, Ogun State was yesterday thrown into mourning as the death of the Church's newly installed Spiritual Head, Evangelist Philip Honsu Ajose dawned on the members. Ajose, enthroned on Saturday, February 24 passed on on Friday morning after taking ill for a few hours. Aged 69, he will be buried on Friday, March 30. 

When The Guardian called at the Celestial City yesterday hundreds of members were seen wailing uncontrollably. Among these were six of the deceased's children who later left for Badagry, the late religious leader's home town.  All was quiet at the deceased's private bungalow, which is just a few metres from the tomb of the founder of the church, the late Pastor Bilewu Oschoffa. The late Ajose had shared the all-white bungalow with Superior Senior Evangelists R. O. Ajanikoko and F. A. Gangbe. Ajanikoko, who said he had been a member of the church for 49 years and one of the closest friends of the departed, described the death as a big blow and a great shock. He said he was with Ajose throughout Thursday until the deceased left for bed. 
According to him, the deceased, on Thursday "anointed several people who had been elevated in the Church, a function which he had periodically performed since December." 

Ajose was the head of the Celestial Churches overseas and had been based in London since 1982. He returned to Nigeria last September to act as the Supreme Head of the Church. Ajanikoko's only regret is that Ajose "died at a time when all the tension in the church was subsiding as a result of his enthronement". To Ajanikoko, the deceased was a "spiritually oriented man; a man who was loved by all Church members." 
He disclosed that the Board of Trustees of the church had taken the dead body to Lagos, preparatory to a befitting burial. 

Ajanikoko urged members to pray "fervently for God to take control" and counselled against holding anybody responsible for the death of Ajose. To him, "The Supreme Commander of death is God". The death was equally received with shock at the church's National Headquarters in Ketu, Lagos. Eldest wife of the late Oschoffa Mrs. Elizabeth Oschoffa and her daughter, Mrs. Deborah Aso, who confirmed the news of the death, said preparations had begun towards his burial. 

The family and members of the CCC while mourning their deceased leader, cautioned against hasty plans for succession. According to Mrs. Deborah Aso, all the warring groups in the church should "now sit down and reconcile themselves". She said: "It is not the seat that is causing this. Let us therefore leave that seat vacant for the time being. What I noticed is that some vital things that we should do, to thrash out the past ñ have to be done. Let us reconcile the differences. Let everyone realise that everybody will die one day. So nobody should be happy with the death". 

On how soon the reconciliation efforts would begin, she said: "The spirit of the Lord will direct us. The spirit of the Lord will direct us to do that". The Oschoffa family showered praises on the late Ajose, describing him as "a very, very nice and honest leader who gave his very best to the progress of the Church and to humanity in general". She added: "He was too nice to us. He was somebody whom we freely related with. There was nothing we asked for that we did not get from him. He was nice to all". 

On whether they suspected foul play, over Ajose's death, barely a week after his official enthronement, she maintained that they harboured no such thought. 
"We don't suspect anybody. Nobody should be happy. Everybody should know that there is destiny and everyone will die one day also," she declared. 

Ajose succeeded the late Supreme Evangelist, Rev. Alexander Abiodun Bada, who died in a United Kingdom hospital last August, shortly after the Supreme Court ruled against him over the tussle for the headship of the CCC. It was after Bada's death that the Board of Trustees and members of the Pastors-in-Council of the Church named Ajose as the new head. But the appointment received opposition from Superior Evangelist Josiah Kayode Owodunni, who had challenged the legitimacy of Bada as the leader. 

Ajose, born on August 1932 in Badagry, Lagos, was until his elevation to the exalted position, head of the overseas diocese of the church. He had lost his sight three years ago in London while he was on a journey to Italy where he was billed to meet with the late Bada. Described as a very dedicated leader, Ajose attended Government Secondary School, Badagry, before proceeding for further training at the Nigerian Marine School. He later joined the defunct Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN), now National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). He joined the CCC in 1953 and by 1976, he was posted to the United Kingdom as a pastor and head of the overseas diocese. 

A meeting at which his successor will be chosen has been scheduled for Thursday this week. 
When The Guardian called at the National Headquarters of the Church on Moshood Street, Ketu yesterday, the Shepherd of the church, Evangelist Abraham Ajose, brother of the late Rev. Ajose, was said to have been last seen at the church premises last Thursday. 
But a senior member of the church, Evangelist Josiah who spoke to The Guardian confirmed the death of the CCC leader and explained that senior members would be meeting on Thursday to discuss burial plans and who succeeds the late church leader.

Hearing continues in Celestial Church suit March 16

By Ibe Uwaleke, Judicial Reporter 
THE stage is now set for the two differing groups of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) Worldwide, Nigeria, which have begun another round of legal battle to tackle themselves at a Federal High Court, Lagos, over the appointment and proposed declaration of Philip Ajose, as the new Pastor and Overseer. 

Justice Emmanuel Sanyaolu sitting over the new matter, will on March 16, either hear the notice of preliminary objection raised by a faction of the board of trustees of the church including Oluremi Olusoga Ogunlesi, Samson Olatunde Banjo Olayinka Afolabi Adepeso, Philip Ajose and Gilbert Jesse, questioning jurisdiction of the court, or take the counter affidavit brought against the preliminary objection by Josiah Kayode Owodunni on his behalf and on behalf of CCC Nigeria. 

Owodunni initiated the action to stop the appointment and proposed proclamation of Ajose as such exercise of action did not conform with the constitution of the church.  Reverend Bada was said to have indicated in one of his last acts, the appointment of Philip Ajose as his successor as Pastor of CCC worldwide as revealed to him by the holy spirit of God. But Owudunni in his action, sought the court to restrain the surviving members of the board of trustees of the church namely Olusoga Ogunlesi, Olatunde Banjo, Afolabi Adepeso, Philip Ajose, Gilbert Jesse and the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC), from taking any steps in the matter without recourse to the church's constitution dated March 29, 1980. 

In the same vein, Owodunni also sought to restrain the said Pastor designate, Ajose, in line with the church's constitution from exercising the rights, powers, privileges, duties in the discharge of his functions and to restrain also the electoral college which constituted itself as such to appoint Ajose as Pastor. 
But the preliminary objections filed by Chief Afe Babalola (SAN), on behalf of the board of trustees, it is contesting that the action in the name of the first plaintiff (CCC) is incompetent in that it has not been authorised by the church 
o the action is not properly constituted 
o There was no compliance to the conditions preceded to warrant the granting of the order sought. 
o the reliefs asked for are not available to the plaintiffs, and 
o the action is an abuse of the process of this court in view of the tendency of suit No HCL/33/2000 between the parties at the state High Court, Ilaro, Ogun State. 
The objections were supported with a 15 paragraph affidavit in support deposed to by Olusoga Ogunlesi, the secretary of the registered board of trustees. 

In his own reaction to the objection, Owodunni, through his counsel, Mr. Rickey Tarfa (SAN), in a counter affidavit deposed to by Mr. Tayo Oyedokun, a litigation officer in Tarfa's chambers, said the action is a derivation one brought to correct wrongs which are being committed against the collective interest of the church by the other members of the board of trustees (defendants). According to the deponent in an 11 paragraph counter affidavit, Owodunni is a member of the board of trustees and therefore, qualified to bring the action to redress the wrongs. Also, he said that the plaintiff (Owodunni) is entitled to bring the suit on behalf of the church. He also argued that the suit NO. HCL/33/2500 before the Ilaro High Court is completely and fundamentally different from the present action and seeks entirely different reliefs. However, he contended that the court is the proper court which should exercise jurisdiction to adjudicate on the issues raised in the matter as against the defendant's argument that the court lacks jurisdiction. He therefore, asked the court to dismiss the objection. 

The defendants withdrew the first application dated February 15 and replaced it with another dated February 17, with minor amendments. The amended objection will be looked into by the court on March 16. 
Owodunni started the legal action against the selection of late Reverend Alexander Abiodun Bada, which began from a Lagos High Court January 10,1992, to the Supreme Court in June 30, 2000, when the apex court declared the seat of the pastor of the church vacant and dethroned Bada. 
The case is cited today as Owodunni Vs Registered Trustees of Celestial Church of Christ & Ors (2000) 10 NWLR Pt 675 p.35..

Ajose, Cele Leader, Feared Dead 

By Dickson Adeyanju(Lagos) and Charles Coffie Gyamfi (Abeokuta) --- Sunday,March 4, 2001

BARELY a week after his official enthronement as the Spiritual head of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), there were fears yesterday that Supreme Evangelist Phillip Honsu Ajose may have passed on. Sources informed The Guardian On Sunday that Ajose, who was officially installed as the head of the church worldwide penultimate Saturday, died on Friday night in Imeko, Ogun State. Details of the cause of his death were still scanty last night. 

Ajose succeeded the late Supreme Evangelist Rev. Alexander Abiodun Bada. Bada died last August in a London hospital shortly after the Supreme Court ruled against his headship of the church. After Bada's death, the Board of Trustees and members of the Pastors-in-Council of the church amended the constitution on the leadership succession which has been a subject of litigation. After the alteration, Ajose was appointed at the church's annual anointing service between December 24 and 25 last year at the church's Imeko headquarters. But shortly after the announcement, Superior Evangelist Josiah Kayode Owodunmi, who has engaged the Board of Trustees in a legal tussle over the leadership, headed for the court again to challenge Ajose's appointment. 
Ajose was head of the overseas diocese of the church until Bada's death. He lost his sight in 1998 at Heathrow Airport, London on his way to Italy to meet the late Bada for a meeting. 

Sources in Abeokuta said yesterday that Ajose died after taking ill suddenly on Friday night. When The Guardian On Sunday got to the Ogun state headquarters of the church in Abeokuta, some members of the church were seen in mournful mood. The leader of the church in the state, Senior Evangelist Taiwo Oshin told The Guardian On Sunday: "Well I have heard the news but to me it is still a rumour". He said he saw Ajose on Friday at about 10 a.m. when he went to Imeko to visit him. 

Ajose was born on August 10, 1932 in Badagry, Lagos State. He attended Government Secondary School, Badagry. He later proceeded to the Nigerian Marine School for training. Upon graduation, he joined the then Electricity Corporation of Nigeria (ECN), now National Electric Power Authority (NEPA). He joined Celestial Church in 1953 and settled fully into pastoral work in 1976 when he was posted to London to head the overseas diocese. In an interview with The Guardian On Saturday in January, Ajose said he never nursed the ambition to be the head of the church. "I was mostly concerned about upholding the tenets of the church. We worship our God without looking back and always strive to perfect the constitution of the church. We never knew that we were being observed by God and men," he said. "Satan had boasted that he would get me and my office. He said I was carrying his profit and giving it to NasirÉ" he said of his blindness but was optimistic that it was a temporary handicap.

CCC Leader, Ajose, Feared Dead

By Eddy Odivwri and Toba Sulaiman in Abeokuta, Sunday March 4, 2001

The newly ordained lea-der of the celestial Church of Christ (CCC), Rev
Philip Honsu Ajose is feared dead, exactly one week after his
ordination ceremony at Imeko, the CCC world headquarters last week.

Ajose who church sources died Friday night at the same Imeko
headquarters of the church, where he was ordained , was said to have
received guests, some of them church leaders on Friday morning, before
he suddenly took ill later in the day.

Those who saw him on Friday said although he was noticed to be ill,
there was no sign that the man will die soon. Ajose, a blind man,
assumed the leadeership of the church after a protracted tussled for
the headship of the church from other senior elders of the CCC.

He was ordained amidst controversy raked up by the succession crises
which has plagued the church over the years.

When THISDAY visited the Celestial Church Of Christ, Ogun state
Headquarters at Ijaiye -Abeokuta yesterday, the church faithfuls were
seen discussing the issue in hushed voices while wearing mournful

The CCC head in Ogun State, Baba Oshin, confirmed that he was with the
late leader on Friday morning.

Ajose in his inagural sermon penultimate Saturday, had told the
Celestial Church faithfuls that the church was not destined for
hardship adding that it was the attitude of some members that was
bringing hardship to the church."What is really punishing us is tha
attitude of some people but in God's own mercy we have another gracious
time as we have stepped into another mile stone in the annals of the
CCC", Ajose told the worshippers.

A factional leader of the church , Pastor Josiah Owoduni, had laid
claim to the leadership of the church ever since the founder of the
church, Rev S.B.J Oshoffa passed on.

The late Pastor Abiodun Bada who suceeded Oshoffa had his tenure
invalidated by a court judgement, shortly after, he died. Before his
death Owodunni had also battled him severally on the leadership issue
of the church.

Ajose was nominated to succeed the late Bada last year and was
enthroned last Saturday.


CCC to instal Ajose as head on Saturday 

By Dickson Adeyanju and Ibe Uwaleke -- Wednesday, February 21, 2001 

DESPITE ongoing court actions and injunction, the leadership of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC), is set to instal Rev. Philip Hunsu Ajose as new head of the church this Saturday, February 24. Those challenging this decision in court, are driven by an obsession for power, the leaders have insisted. In a press conference addressed yesterday by some elders of the church, including senior evangelists, Olayinka Adefeso, and Samson Banjo, all members of Pastor-in-Council and evangelist Gilbert Jesse head, Nigeria diocese, they claimed that they had ratified the appointment of Rev. Ajose made by late Rev. A.A Bada. "And whereas, in consequences the Pastor-in-council unanimously ratified this appointment, it is hereby proclaimed that Rev. Philip Hunsu Ajose is hereby appointed Pastor of CCC Worldwide to the glory of God and of His Son, Our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ and shall henceforth be addressed as Rev. Philip Hunsu Ajose," the statement signed by the three members of the Pastor-in-council said. 

According to them, the appointment of Rev. Ajose came as a result of the amendment of section 111 of the churchs constitution by the surviving members of the board of trustees which is endorsed and recognised by the Corporate Affairs Commission. They claimed that the constitution was amended after the Supreme Court nullified the appointment of Rev. A.A. Bada on June 30, 2000, forcing the trustees to amend the particular provisions for the appointment of the pastor which was endorsed by CAC on December 22 through a letter to the church. But one of the trustees, Superior Evangelist Josiah Kayode Owodunni disagreed. He is already at the Federal High Court, Lagos, where he is contesting the appointment and the proposed proclamation of Rev. Ajose on February 24. Owodunni, who claimed to be appointed by the Pastor-Founder, Rev. S.B.J. Oshoffa before his demise, is seeking an injunction to stop the proclamation of Ajose as the new pastor. His contention is that Ajoses appointment through an electoral college constituted by the three surviving members of the board of trustees known as Pastor-in-council, is not strictly in accordance with the churchs constitution, which the trustees claimed had been amended. 

Superior Evangelist Samson Olatunde Banjo, the pioneer managing director of National Bank of Nigeria (NBN), who is a member of the board, together with Olayinka Afolabi Adefeso and Gilbert Jesse (head of Nigeria Diocese), Ajose was already named, proclaimed and installed as provided by the new constitution of the church before the current litigation. According to Banjo, several moves were made to reconcile Owodunni with the main body of the church without success. He said: "I can tell you that traditional rulers, political leaders, senior functionaries of the government and leaders, to the highest level you can think of, have approached him but he has refused to listen to anyone. "He is obsessed with being the pastor of the church as as it is now, only God, or let me say, only that divine intervention that can change his heart.

We are praying seriously for this divine intervention and that is why despite all that he has done, we still have him as a member of our board of trustees."


Internship opportunity for Minority College Juniors, Jan 24, 2001

Date: Fri, 19 Jan 2001 17:16:13 -0500 From: Michelle Onyeka Okoh Subject: Internship opportunity

Internship Opportunity: Coca-Cola Corporate Intern Program is offering 50 minority college juniors summer internships, This is a eight week program in either Atlanta, Columbia MD, Chicago, Dallas or Irvine CA.

Each student will receive $5,000 stipend plus a $2,000 housing allowance and transportation allowance and will be eligible for a $10,000 scholarship upon completion. Application deadline is Feb 16th. For information or call The College Fund at: 800-331-2244.

The UNCF (The College Fund) and Coca-Cola Corporate Intern Program

The Coca-Cola Company and The College Fund have teamed up to improve educational and career opportunities for African Americans, American Indians, Asian Americans, Hispanic Americans, and other minority students..

Through scholarships and Summer internships, The College Fund and Coca-Cola Corporate Intern Program offers you the chance to gain real-life work experience at The Coca-Cola Company, the world's leading beverage company, and gives you the financial support you need to achieve your career goals.

In other words, you will be able to apply your knowledge in a corporate setting and gain the skills you need to succeed in business while receiving a $5,000 internship stipend, a housing allowance, and a transportation allowance that will enable you to focus on your internship.

Beginning in Summer 2001, The Coca-Cola Company will offer eight- to 10-week Summer internships and scholarships to about 50 qualified minority students. At the Coca-Cola Company, our internships could lead to permanent career opportunities for qualified candidates. Our internships are one of our most valued recruiting tools, and interns who excel are frequently offered full-time positions.

To learn more about the internships:

a.. What you need to be eligible b.. How to apply c.. Supporting documentation you will need to apply d.. What you will do e.. What you will get f.. Where you will work g.. What you need to succeed h.. Where to go for more info i.. About The College Fund j.. About The Coca-Cola Company What you need to be eligible: You must:

a.. Have a minimum 3.0 Grade Point Average b.. Be a sophomore majoring in Chemistry, Engineering, Finance, Human Resources, Information Technology, Marketing, or Business Management (Sales interest). c.. Be attending one of the participating colleges or universities Dependents of employees, officers, or owners of Coca-Cola Bottling Companies, The Coca-Cola Company, or any bottler or company divisions or subsidiary are not eligible to participate in this program.

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How to apply: To apply, fill out our application and mail with supporting documentation to the following address. Your application and documentation must be received by February 16, 2001.

The College Fund c/o The College Fund and Coca-Cola Corporate Intern Program Jamil Fletcher 8260 Willow Oaks Corporate Drive P.O. Box 10444 Fairfax, VA 22031-4511

back to top Supporting documentation you will need to apply:

a.. Provide a nominating letter from a faculty member that details your talents, interests, and aspirations b.. Write a one-page personal statement describing your career interest c.. Provide a current undergraduate transcript


U.S. Environmental Protection Agency -- EPA Intern Program Information (The Time is NOW)], Jan. 19, 2001

As many of you know, the Environmental Intern Program (EIP) is a full-time, entry-level, permanent employment and career development program at the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. This program accepts students from several different disciplines such as:

Biological Sciences and Ecology Business Chemistry and Physical Sciences Computer Science Environmental Engineering Environmental Studies Financial Management International Studies Public and Environmental Policy Public Administration

To be eligble for this program, you must have the following: $ You must be a U.S. citizen and a college graduate with an undergraduate grade-point average (GPA) of 3.45 or better on a 4.0 scale for all undergraduate course work, or have graduated in the upper 10 percent of your undergraduate class or major university subdivision. Any college major is qualifying for these positions. Graduate GPA or class standing cannot be used.

$ If you are qualifying based on graduating in the upper 10 percent of your undergraduate class or major university subdivision, you must provide official documentation from your college or university with your application. Major university subdivision is defined as a college/school within your university (e.g. College/School of Arts and Sciences). Documentation will be accepted if it comes from the Dean of your College or from the Registrar=s Office. Documentation from a Department Chairperson will also be accepted if the Chairperson verifies your standing within the College, not just within the Department or major course of study

If you have any questions, please contact me at: (206)553-6912. If students/recent college graduates have questions about the applications, please have them email me at:


Ajose confirmed as C C C pastor, Jan 19, 2001

By Andrews Bayagbon

Elders and the Board of Trustees of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) yesterday confirmed the appointment of Superior Evangelist Philip Ajose as the new pastor of the sect after the demise of its former Pastor, Rev. Alexander Abiodun Bada, who died in a London hospital last September.

Ajose, who was named at a previous meeting held at Imeko by the church leaders, would be officially consecrated in February, though no date has been fixed yet.

However, the trustees and elders held a marathon closed-door meeting at the Makoko national headquarters of the church yesterday to deliberate on the modalities for the ceremony and also to officially present the reviewed constitution of the sect, said to have been approved by the Corporate Affairs Commission.

Though none of the senior members of the sect could be reached for comment, a source close to the Head of the Nigerian Mission of the church, Superior Evangelist Gilbert Jesse, confirmed the development.

The meeting, which was attended by Ajose, Jesse Banjo Oguntesi and others, would also proffer the way forward from the impasse created by the Supreme Court pronouncements last year nullifying the leadership of Bada ab-initio.

Meanwhile, the church dissociated itself from an offensive publication (a pamphlet entitled - O ye Celestians, lend us your ears) in which the former pastor, Bada, was allegedly ridiculed.

Senior Evangelist Femi Ogundipe, Parochial Committee chairman of the Government Layout Parish, Gbagada Phase 2, where the publication purportedly emanated from, denied the parish's involvement in the publication, stating that the address the parish used on the front cover of the pamphlet was unauthorised.

Said he: "The publication by the group which goes by the name 'Concerned Celestians' can best be described as criminal and cowardly since the publishers were not bold enough to use their real names and addresses."

According to him, it was the handiwork of enemies of the parish who are bent on pitching the parish against the hierarchy of the church, adding that the ploy had failed.

He reiterated the parish's unalloyed co-operation with the policies of the church, stating that it had recognised and accepted the leadership of Ajose.

However, Ogundipe said himself, and Senior Evangelist Victor Olumofe of the same parish, were formerly members of the group which was established after the Supreme Court verdict nullifying the leadership of the late Bada who was then head of the sect worldwide.

"The intention of setting up the group then, was to create a forum that will mediate over the crisis then without being partial", he said.

He said he and Olumofe opted out after hosting a meeting at their parish when they discovered that certain members of the group had ulterior motives other than the ones for which it was set up.

Ogundipe said he joined the group representing himself, and not the parish, and having opted out, "they have no justification to use the address of the parish because at no time was it the secretariat of the group."

Throwing more light on the criminality of the action, the Vice Chairman of the Parochial Committee, Evangelist Afolabi Ogunetinoju, said the committee which was the highest organ in the local hierarchy, was the only authority that should approve the name of the parish being used for such publications.

According to him, members of the group had no fixed address and because they felt using the name and address of the parish would give credibility to the offensive publication, they "used it without obtaining our permission."

However, he said even if they had sought permission from the committee, such would not have been approved as it violated the beliefs and objectives that the parish stood for.

Some of the issues raised in the said pamphlet are the nullification of all appointments made by the late Bada, Evangelist Agbaosi and Josiah Owodunni, the abrogation of such ranks and titles such as "Most Senior Evangelist," "Assistant Pastor," and "Assistant Most Senior Evangelist" as introduced by the late pastor, adding that such titles were not recognised by the church's constitution.

Reacting to the criticisms, Senior Evangelist Niran Anibijuwon said Bada introduced such ranks according to the dictates of the time, saying that with the death of the Prophet/Founder, Pastor Samuel Bilewu Oshoffa, "the church does not have to be stagnated, hence because of the need for officers to assist the new pastor in dispensing his duties, such titles were created."

He also dispelled rumours that Ajose and Jesse were on warpath over who should head the sect, adding that the relationship between the two men had ever remained cordial.

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