The General Secretary of Assemblies of God Church Nigeria Rev Godwin Amaowoh in this Exclusive Interview with PUO REPORTS,Revealed exactly what happened at the Supreme Court last Month on the Appeal brought by the Suspended,Dismissed and Disfollowshipped Former General Superintendent of Assemblies of God Church Rev Dr Paul Emeka and other sundry issues in the Church
PUO REPORTS: It was published in some newspapers that there was jubilation in Assemblies of God because the Supreme Court refused to stop Emeka from acting as the GS. Is this true?
Rev Godwin Amaowoh: That is a pure lie published to deceive members of the public. You already know that Paul Emeka is deceitful, mischievous, frivolous, treacherous and untruthful in all his ways
Let me tell you what happened. As you know, by the grace of God, God gave the Church victory at the Court of Appeal on 14th April, 2015 in the suit: Rev. Dr. Chidi Okoroafor & 19 (Appellants) others V. Rev. Prof. Paul Emeka (Respondent) Appeal No CA/E/10/2015. It was a unanimous decision of the justices of the Court of Appeal that confirmed that Paul Emeka’s removal followed due process as the Court of Appeal blamed him for the crisis rocking the church. In consequence, the entire judgement of Justice A.O Onovo of the Enugu State High Court was set aside.
Expectedly (since he had vowed to fight to finish), Paul Emeka then filed a Notice of Appeal at the Supreme Court but refused to take any further step to advance the appeal. The reason is simple. Paul Emeka did not believe he has a good case for appeal but needed to deceive his followers so that they can keep investing in him. In addition, since he does not believe in the rule of law, but rather lives to exploit any weak link he can find in the law, it was desirable for him to have the matter delayed so that he could go on making war against the saints.
According to the law, once a person files a Notice of Appeal, he should immediately follow it up with his brief of argument. This must be done within 10 weeks from date the record of appeal was transmitted by the registrar of the Court of Appeal to the Supreme Court. The record of appeal was transmitted to the Supreme Court on June 26, 2015 but up till the end of 2015, Paul Emeka had not filed anything more.
The AGN lawyers came up with the idea to force his hands by either having him come to prosecute his appeal or to have it dismissed. Accordingly, a Motion on Notice to dismiss his appeal was filed on 11th day of January 2016. The matter came up for hearing on 19th of January. The Supreme Court was already hearing the argument for dismissal when Paul Emeka’s lawyers pleaded for more time and pledged to immediately file their papers.
The court sought and obtained the consent of the AGN lawyers to stop the motion for dismissal in order to give Paul Emeka more time to file his papers. The Court also made an order for the accelerated hearing of the appeal.
Mission was accomplished! It was never our intention to get judgement against him without trial. You will remember that before Justice Onovo, Paul Emeka filed his suit on the 15th of April 2014, was heard and given far-reaching injunctions on 16th April AFTER which the court asked us, the respondents, to come to court the next day, 17th April all of the same 2014 to defend the substantive matter!
The motion for dismissal was withdrawn at the advice of the court just to enable Paul Emeka to file his brief of argument on or before 5th February 2016. Every lawyer will tell you that once a motion is withdrawn, no matter the reason, it will be struck out. That is what happened. We did it in good faith but, as usual, Paul Emeka is paying us evil for our good.
|Rev Godwin Amaowoh
As we speak, Paul Emeka has now filed his Appellant’s Brief of Argument on 5th February, 2015. The Church has a few weeks to file the Respondent’s Brief of Argument as a response to Paul Emeka Appellant’s Brief of Argument. A date will thereafter be fixed by the Supreme Court for hearing of the appeal.
It is very important to note that it was the motion on notice to dismiss the appeal dated 11th January, 2016 that was heard on 19th January, 2016 and not the Motion on Notice dated 5th November, 2015 seeking an injunction to restrain Paul Emeka from the continued use of thugs to attack our churches. The second motion was not heard at all by the Supreme Court on that 19th January, 2016. The motion is still pending. Since Paul Emeka’s counsel indicated her willingness to file the Appellant’s Brief of Argument and an order of accelerated hearing given, so there was no need to insist on moving the second motion.
It then beats our imagination how Paul Emeka went about broadcasting everywhere that He has won the appeal. This is the deceit of the century and it would have been laughable if it did not affect the peace of so many millions.
Anyway, this is not the first time Paul Emeka has deceived the public. Before the appeal was heard by the Court of Appeal last year, he also broadcast that he had won at the Court of Appeal. The circumstances were similar to the present one. The Court had asked us to rather accept accelerated hearing instead of an injunction so that they could hear the matter on merit. We consented and the motion was accordingly struck to enable the substantive appeal to be given accelerated hearing. His ‘army’ of liars and deceivers immediately assaulted the airwaves with the lies. This army is ruthless and their prime enemy is the truth and those who stand by the truth.
Thankfully, God gave us judgment at the Court of Appeal and Paul Emeka’s team once again crafted another lie. They told their followers that we bribed the judges of the Court of Appeal and even announced the amount they were given! Intrepid defamers! Whoever does not do their bidding is marked immediately for demolition.
Therefore, we want to state categorically that the Supreme Court has not given any judgment in the matter, let alone giving it in favour of Paul Emeka. We are hopeful that the Supreme Court will quickly dispense with the matter since it had made an order for accelerated hearing. Thus, if there was any jubilation, it was from gullible people and rented fans. Unfortunately, there is little one can do when some people choose to believe a lie.
PUO REPORTS : Did the Supreme Court advise both parties to settle out of court?
Rev Godwin Amaowoh: Yes, the five-man panel of Justices of the Supreme Court did advise the parties to seek reconciliation out of court but they also added that if the parties fail to do so, that they are here to declare who is right and who is wrong according to law. This piece of advice to settle out of court was also given during the proceedings at the Court of Appeal. The lead counsel for the Assemblies of God Nigeria has always responded to this question this way: “My Lord, we are here at their instance.” In other words, “My Lord, they took us to court against the biblical injunction in I Corinthians 6.” NIV Bible puts I Corinthians 6:7 this way which reads in part, “When you take another believer to court, you have lost the battle already…”
This position of our lead counsel is supported by the Court of Appeal Judgment of 14/4/2015. The Court of Appeal at page 106 of its judgment held that a member of a voluntary organization cannot sue for breach of the internal constitution and regulations of the organization. At page 107, the Court of Appeal held that the majority of the members of the church made the 2002 Constitution of the church and agreed that all members shall be bound by it. That one of the causes for discipline of any member is stated in Article XII Section 21 of 2002 Constitution as “Taking the church to court for any reason.” That by the provision of Article XII, it is implied that there is a binding agreement by members of the church not to take the church to court. That by virtue of this agreement binding on all members, Paul Emeka is estopped from challenging the church or majority of its members for enforcing Article XII Section 3 ( m ) of the Assemblies of God Constitution & Bye-Law to discipline him for taking them to Court.
The Church has attended every meeting aimed at reconciliation. Indeed, it should be borne in mind that it was in a bid to resolve the matter that the General Committee was called on 6th March 2014. It was to settle the matter that the then Executive Committee made countless efforts to persuade Paul Emeka to accept peaceful meeting. It was in search of peace that all the retired leaders of the Church pleaded with him to sheath his sword. Even after he had dragged the Church to court, we still attended several peace meetings. What Paul Emeka wants is to be restored as the General Superintendent so that he will continue to rule the church as his fiefdom. That will not happen.
PUO REPORTS: Is the matter between Chidi Okoroaofor & Paul Emeka?
Rev Godwin Amaowoh: Absolutely No. The matter is purely between Paul Emeka and the Assemblies of God Nigeria who he has sued through its leading clergy and laity. It was not Rev Dr Chidi Okorafor that asked him do to all the evil that caused the Ambassadors of the Kingdom , all of them men of honour, to protest. Rev Dr. Okoroafor did not ask him to buy the German property. He did not ask him to live controversial life as a leader and as a member. He did not ask him to personalise and appropriate the Church’s Evangel University. He did not ask him to snub the laymen that sought audience with the Executive Committee. He did not ask him to paralyse the Executive Committee meetings or shun the General Committee. Paul Emeka claims he has always had the majority behind him; why did he not mobilise for the General Committee of 6th of March 2014? When the motion to remove was put to vote there was not a single vote in his favour.
The ‘sin’ Rev Dr. Okorafor committed is that he did not support Paul Emeka in his evils. He did not conspire with him to ruin the Church. He did not flatter him. He did not sell the soul of the AGN in order to remain in Paul Emeka’s good books.
The fact that Dr. Chidi Okoroafor is the incumbent General Superintendent does not automatically make him a party to the ongoing crisis. Dr. Chidi Okoroaofor had no constitutional power to remove Paul Emeka;. it is in the power of the General Committee, the highest decision making body of the Church to do so. Dr. Chidi Okoroaofor is just connected to the matter in his representative capacity as a trustee just like other trustees in the matter.
Paul Emeka is a master of propaganda. He is a blackmailer. Since he accused members of the Body of Ambassadors of various heinous crimes, has he lifted a finger to prove any of it? Has he proved any of the near-blasphemous allegations against the former General Superintendent, Rev Dr Charles Osueke (rtd)? He believes that if he keeps repeating accusation, it would somehow be mistake for truth. But only man can be deceived: God cannot.
PUO REPORTS: Is the Church hopeful that the final outcome at the Supreme Court will be in her favour?
Rev Godwin Amaowoh: Sure, the Church believes it is in the right. That belief makes us hopeful although our fate does not lie in the court but in God’s hand. The Bible says in Mathew 16: 18, “I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it.” We are hopeful that the Finger of God shall do it again, Amen.
Already God is giving the Church victory in all the ongoing court cases in some states in Nigeria. Just to mention but a few, in Niger State, Bayelsa, Saminaka and Enugu and Abuja. For example, on 18/2/2016, the High Court, sitting at Minna, Niger State dismissed the suit with suit no: NSHC/MN/97/2015 brought by Paul Emeka against the Church challenging the creation of Niger South Area by the Executive Committee of the Assemblies of God, Nigeria. Again, the High Court of Enugu State sitting for Form 49 in Suit No E/82/2014 on 11th February, 2016, declined jurisdiction to hear a fraudulent application brought by Paul Nathan Udeze (a dismissed minister & Paul Emeka Chief Enforcer) & Co for an order of committal to prison of the General Officers and the Trustees of the Assemblies of Court Nigeria. This matter of has been on appeal since 2014 and yet the deceivers wanted the trial court to resume hearing it.
PUO REPORTS: Is Paul Emeka in control of the majority?
Rev Godwin Amaowoh: Absolutely No. The General Council, Assemblies of God Nigeria as of today has 120 administrative units including Districts, Areas and Missionary Areas. The percentage of the traitors is so negligible that Paul Emeka and his cohort are embarrassed that despite all their lies, their blackmail, their corruption, their propaganda, their compromises with thieves and looters, the AGN is waxing stronger. All institutions, departments and organs of the Church are with the General Council led by Rev. Dr Chidi Okoroafor.
The Court of Appeal at page 98 of its judgment held that, “It is also glaring that he (Paul Emeka) believed that if the General Committee held, the majority of the members were likely to vote for his removal as the General Superintendent. This belief and fear is repeatedly expressed by him in Exhibit 6d, his 18-2-2014 letter to the Unit Heads. The efforts of the respondent (Paul Emeka) to stop the holding of the meeting failed.”
That situation has not changed.
PUO REPORTS: We heard that he has been ordered by the Sharia Court of Appeal to appear on 30th March, 2016 at Abuja?
Rev Godwin Amaowoh: Please point of correction! it is Upper Area Court and not Sharia Court of Appeal as broadcast by Paul Emeka Group. Section 260 of the 1999 Constitution establishes the “Sharia Court of Appeal”. Section 262. (1) The Sharia Court of Appeal shall, exercise such appellate (appeal lies from Sharia Court) and supervisory jurisdiction in civil proceedings involving questions of Islamic personal law. From the foregoing provision of the Constitution, it is manifestly clear that Sharia Court of Appeal lacks the jurisdiction to hear forgery case but can only exercise jurisdiction in matters involving questions of Islamic personal law. Again, suppose the Sharia Court of Appeal has jurisdiction over the forgery case, it can’t still exercise jurisdiction because it can only exercise jurisdiction by way of appeal lying to it and not vice versa. The Sharia Court will be the court of first instance and not Sharia Court of Appeal. You can see Paul Emeka’s occupation is to fabricate lies and sell it to the members of the public.
He raised many objection against the court trying him but they have all been overruled by the court. Why is he afraid of proving that is a professor as he has been claiming for nearly a decade?
In conclusion, the Church is matching on. It is a time of trial; a time of shaking. The shakeable will be shaken and the unshakeable will remain. Thankfully, the unshakeable are so numerous as to make the shaken unnoticeable. Every believer should focus on the Lord Jesus and His Second Coming. Every member of the AGN should live in consciousness of rapture. God is with us. We are on the side of righteousness. We are destined to win.