– The three years leadership crisis that rocked the Assemblies of God Nigeria has finally come and gone following the verdict of the Supreme Court
– The General Superintendent of the church, Rev. Chidi Okoroafor, said the church is no longer divided, noting that the church is now one body
– He, however, said all properties of the church that are in the hands of the ousted Rev. Paul Emeka will be recovered for the church’s use
Following the final verdict given by the Supreme Court on Friday February 24, 2017 over the three year crisis that rocked the Assemblies of God Church, the Executive Committee of the church, on Monday, February 27, 2017, declared its readiness to recover all her properties from being occupied by members loyal to Rev. Paul Emeka, the sacked General Superintendent of the church.
The declaration was sequel to the Supreme Court judgment which affirmed the earlier suspension of Rev. Emeka as the General Superintendent of the church by the committee, an issue which dragged on since 2014.
Addressing journalists at the International Conference Centre of Assemblies of God Nigeria, Evangel Camp Okpoto, Enugu state, the General Superintendent, Rev. Chidi Okoroafor, said the church would not fold its hands and watch illegal occupants mess up its structures.
Also present at the briefing were all the 19 members of the church’s General Executive Committee.
We’re no more divided, we’re now under one Assemblies of God Nigeria – Chidi Okoroafor
Rev. Chidi Okoroafor during the media chat in Enugu
Among them were the Assistant General Superintendent, Rev. Ejikeme Ejim, the General Secretary, Rev. Dr. Godwin Akpan Amaowoh, the General Treasurer, Rev. Vincent Alaje, as well as all the zonal heads of the church across the country.
Okoroafor called on the pastors and the members who stood with the ousted Emeka while the matter was in court to return with genuine repentance and get reunited with the church of God.
His speech read in part: “Blessed be the God of the founding fathers of the Assemblies of God Nigeria. He is a prayer answering God; He is a great God. He has demonstrated that He is the owner of the church. He has shown himself great and wonderful.
“In the first place, Assemblies of God Nigeria by biblical standards and our constitution should not have gone to court to settle an internal matter.
“However, ethics demands that when one takes you to court, you must necessarily answer to show your regards for this quintessential arm of government, the judiciary. This is exactly what happened.
“When our former leader, Rev. Paul Emeka, unfortunately took the church to court instead of resorting to our internal administrative set up capable of resolving any issues, the church responded accordingly.
“As our legal men were still on preliminary objections, his lordship, the judge of the court of first instance (Enugu High Court) delivered a surprise judgment granting him his prayers.
“We appealed the judgment to the Enugu division of the Federal Court of Appeal. We resorted to intensive prayers to the God of our founding fathers, who used the Court of Appeal in a unanimous judgment to set aside the judgment of the High Court and upheld the decision of the General Committee of the Church of 6th March, 2014.
“Rev. Emeka was not satisfied with the judgment of the Court of Appeal and he appealed the judgment to the apex court (Supreme Court) of the Federal Republic of Nigeria.
“The same God of our past victory did it again and on Friday February 24, 2017, the Supreme Court sitting in Abuja dismissed his appeal and upheld the judgment of the Appeal Court which had upheld the decision of the church which dismissed the former General Superintendent, Rev. Paul Emeka.
“We are aware that few of our pastors and members unfortunately decided to pitch their tent with an individual instead of the church. Some may have been deceived into such costly mistake.
“Some even claimed to remain neutral awaiting the Supreme Court judgment. Today, on behalf of the leadership of Assemblies of God Nigeria, we extend a generous olive branch to every genuine repentant fellow.
“The Executive Committee has set up a platform for the returnees to access. We are very open. It is not about victors or losers, it’s about Assemblies of God Nigeria and the mission God handed over to us which must be accomplished without further distractions.
”Be that as it may, the Assemblies of God Nigeria is an incorporated church. Anyone that would not align with the Assemblies of God Nigeria should vacate Assemblies of God premises and property immediately.”
Rev. Okoroafor said henceforth, the Assemblies of God Nigeria is not divided, noting that the church has only one executive committee, one leadership made up of four members, comprising the General Superintendent, the Assistant General Superintendent, the General Secretary and the General Treasurer.