By Promise Uzoma Okoro
The Crises that has rocked Assemblies Of God Nigeria since March 6th 2014 when the General Commitee Suspended,Dismissed and Disfellowshipped its Former General Superintendent Rev Dr Paul Emeka for violating several Sections of the Constitution and Bye Laws of the Church may be coming to an end as the a Panel of Supreme Court Justices is set to hear the case on the 29th of November 2016.
It will be recalled that the General Commitee of Assemblies Of God Nigeria had on its enlarged meeting on the 6th of March 2014 Suspended Rev Paul Emeka for Violating Several Sections of the Church Constitution especially Article Twelve which prohibited anybody from taking the Church or any Officials To Court for whatever Reason.
It was gathered that Rev Paul Emeka through Rev Dr Nathan Udeze and others Instituted a case at the Federal High Court Enugu seeking an order of Interim Injunction restraining the Church from holding its March 6th 2014 General Commitee
The meeting Finally held and a decision was reached for his Suspension for violating a Constitution he ought to be the Custodian.
“The Church is purely a voluntary religious organization to which membership cannot be compelled by a court. At page 789 of the record the Appellant is recorded that the church is a voluntary religious association. See then page 818 of the record where the court below did not only agree with that submission but also stated its effect. The Appellant never challenged these findings and decisions which the court below made on page 818. The right and freedom of any person to associate by belonging to the church exists side by side with the right of other members of the church not to associate with that person. The effect is that membership and association within the church is purely determined by mutual agreement arising from their sharing common principles and persuasion”.
“In the course of his membership of the church the Appellant was ordained a priest of the church and was ultimately elected the General Superintendent of the church in November, 2010 for a term of four (4) years. The duties and functions of that office of General Superintendent are set out in the constitution of the church which also made provisions for the discipline of its officers without exception. The church was never incorporated or registered as a sole proprietorship. No officer or office of the church was vested with absolute powers or authority”.
“Allegations were made against the Appellant by some members, officers and offices of the church who demanded for a meeting between the Appellant and other members of the church to resolve the issues. See pages 111 to 170 of the record. See also pages 173 to 188 of the record. The Appellant considered it to be too condescending for him to accede to those requests. The Appellant declined the opportunities which were offered for those complaints to be deliberated upon. He insisted on dealing with the issues absolutely on his own terms. See page 819 of the record. Events ultimately led to his suspension and his dismissed from the church. The Appellant has his own version of the events which include his averment in paragraph 80 of his affidavit in support of his application that his adversaries hail from a certain part of the Igbo land. See page 48 of the record of Appeal. He did not explain if those persons so alleged were not among the ones who elected him to office ab initio. The fundamental fact is that he was not willing to thrash out the issues raised against him except on his own terms.
“The court was initially approached through suit No. E/82/2014 and while that suit was still pending the Appellant filed that suit No. E/202M/2014 for the enforcement of his fundamental rights”. Assemblies Of God through its Brief of Arguement had explained to the Supreme Court
Recall that A five-member Justices of the Supreme Court presided over by Justice Walter Samuel Nkanu Onneghen had on 29th January 2016 ordered Rev Dr Paul Emeka to File his Brief of arguments on or before the 5th of February 2016 or have his Appeal dismissed.
Rev Dr Paul Emeka had approached the Apex court praying it to upturn the judgement Justice Emmanuel Agim of the Enugu Division of the Court of Appeal which on March 2015 ordered Paul Emeka to stop parading himself as the General Superintendent of Assemblies of God Nigeria because the position of the General Superintendent was not his birth Right.
Paul Emeka on the 4th of February 2016 finally Filed his Brief of argument which significantly bordered on not given fair hearing by the General Council of Assemblies of God Nigeria and the Court of Appeal.
The Supreme Court fixed November 29th 2016 to hear his Appeal,although it is not clear wether or not the Supreme Court will deliver its Judgement same Day,but the case had been granted an accelerated hearing by the Court.
Rev Paul Emeka has attempted all efforts to Destroy the Assemblies Of God Nigeria simply because the church prevented him from siphoning Billions of Naira belonging to the Church.
We are urging the Supreme Court To Dismiss the Appeal filed by Rev Paul Emeka and uphold the Judgement of the Enugu Division of the Court Of Appeal.
Assemblies Of God Nigeria cannot be hijacked by Desperate Cabals