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Assemblies of God leadership crisis deepens as faction goes to Supreme Court

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THE leadership crisis rocking the Assemblies of God Church, Nigeria is far from being over as the faction of the church led by the General
Superintendent, Rev Dr Paul Emeka, on yesterday appealed the judgment of the Court of Appeal setting aside the ruling of the Enugu High Court.

The three-man Appeal Court, Enugu in a suit by the faction of the church led by its Assistant General Superintendent, Rev Chidi Okoroafor had on Tuesday set aside the judgment of Justice O.A Onovo that declared the removal of Emeka as General Superintendent as illegal and wrong.
It further set aside the exparte orders made on April 16 last year, stressing that the trial court lacked the jurisdiction to entertain the matter.

Emeka had last year after he was “suspended” by the faction of the Church’s executive members as General Superintendent, approached the High court complaining against the breach of his fundamental rights by the refusal of the faction to hear his side of allegations made against him before proceeding to suspend him. He got the court’s reprieve.

In an appeal filed at the Supreme Court on behalf of his faction of the church by their Counsel, Justina Offia (SAN), they sought the
declaration of the court setting aside the judgment of the Court of Appeal.

They are also asking the court to uphold the judgment of the High Court, stressing that the judgment of the Appellate Court was in error.

Meanwhile, at an enlarged stakeholders meeting of the church held at its national secretariat in Enugu on Tuesday, attended by several members of the church, they resolved that Emeka remains the General Superintendent of the church, despite the Appeal Court ruling.

They stated that the judgment of the appellate court neither pronounced Chidi Okoroafor the acting Superintendent nor declared the office occupied by Emeka as vacant.

The National Public Relations Officer of the Church, Rev Ben Kalu, briefed reporters at the end of the meeting, saying that the church had
resolved to institute another legal suit against the Okoroafor group for “illegally using the name of the church.”

He stated that the Assemblies of God Church Nigeria, led by Emeka, was the “authentic group”, stressing that till now; there was no
“declarative judgment against Emeka or his occupation of the church property.”

The meeting in which stakeholders were sensitized on the implication of the Appeal Court judgment by the horde of the church’s legal team, resolved to remain resolute in the quest to protect the sanctity of the church and its leadership under Emeka.

They insisted that the judgment had nothing to do with the structure of the church presently, stressing that the appeal at the Supreme
Court had become necessary following the “wrong notion being given to it by the Okoroafor group.”

“We want to correct the lies and guide our members properly. Again, we want to put the records straight to say that the church is united
under Emeka and seek interpretation of the court on the matter”, they declared.

The church had been embroiled in crisis since last year following the leadership tussle between Emeka and Okoroafor.


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