Bishop David Oyedepo of Winners Chapel is in the news again. Like always, the acclaimed man of God is swimming in the river of another scandal least expected from a man of his public status. Pastors as explained in the bible should be around to guide the church towards God but this seems not to be enough for most Nigerian pastors. Ironically, their churches see them as God, hence behave like Alpha and Omega.
This new found status has led to so many issues that ordinarily do not belong to the church- a development that has spawned bad publicity for Christianity.
The Bible regards a pastor as shepherd–a person who tends God’s flock. A shepherd leads, feeds, nurtures, comforts, corrects and protects–responsibilities that belong to every church leader. In fact, the word pastor means shepherd.
But the reverse has in most cases been the case with Nigerian acclaimed men of God. When they are expected to lead by example, they rather let their personal interest erode public expectations from them.
Going by information at our disposal, Bishop Oyedepo is currently in another land grabbing mess worth fouty-five acres and situated at Oko Filling Road, Lafenwa Itele, Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.
The court document made available to City Rovers Magazine shows that the land belongs to Anfani Nigeria Limited which has been carrying out mining process on the land since it acquired the land from the Adogun Atele family of Itele in Ado Odo/Ota Local Government Area in 2002.
But in April 2002, ambush was laid on the entire Itele Town and its environs by an aggrieved group of the Itele Community through the support of then President Olusegun Obasanjo to dislodge the Adogun Atele or the Akapo Group from Itele.
It was learnt that after the new family (Alagbeji Family or Arowolo Group)took over reigns on all the properties of the Itele Community including land, all current landlords in the community were forced to repurchase the land by the new invading group through payment of substantial sum of money for ratification of their holdings.
In addition, after much unaccounted huge some of monies have been paid on several occasions on the said land by its landlords, it was gathered that sometime in December 2007, Bishop Oyedepo whose church is situated within the Local Government, pledged to construct a road that links all the major communities in the area to ease the movement of worshippers of his church during the Winners Chapel Annual Shiloh Convention – a news that the community received genially, considering the economic prosperity of such gesture if realized.
But according to the document, what looked like a holy approach took a different turn when landlords of Itele Community, most especially Anfani Nigeria Limited, a company that has been carrying out mining processes on its land before the intrusion. But in reality, Bishop Oyedepo set up a ploy to acquire some part of the acres of land belonging to Anfani Nigeria Limited from one of the groups /family in the community for the purpose of expanding his Real Estates frontiers.
Consequently, mineworkers on site were being threatened to stop work and evacuate the site because it belongs to a higher authority which was linked to The Chancellor, Covenant University, in person of Bishop Oyedepo. To this end, the solicitors of Anfani Nigeria Limited wrote a letter and visited the administrative office of the church to inform them of the strange happenings on the site which was tagged to the name of the Bishop Oyedepo but the moves were futile on several occasions as construction of fences began imminently on the land.
We gathered that the issue eventually degenerated beyond the capacity of Anfani Nigeria Limited because Ogun State Ministry of Physical Planning had fallen for the gimmicks of the family who resold the land to Bishop Oyedepo due to the philanthropic and developmental approach it patterned.
Meanwhile, Anfani Nigeria Limited through its solicitor, Ayotunde A. Faniyi Esq prayed to the High Court of Ogun State seeking an order of interim injunction restraining defendants (Bishop Oyedepo and Incorporated – Trustees Of World Mission Agency) either by themselves, agents, workmen, servants, privies, legal representatives, successor-in-title and assigns from exercising any right of title and ownership over the parcel of land situated at Oko Filling Road, Lafenwa, Itele in Ado-Odo/Ota LGA of Ogun State as contained in the sketched survey among other orders.