Nigerians want financial records of churches, mosques vetted to aid accountability

In spite of the public outcry and controversies that followed the implementation of a controversial code by the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) that forced the general overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Enoch Adeboye, to hand over the church’s leadership in Nigeria to Joshua Obayemi, some Nigerians still believe the financial books of churches and mosques should still be vetted by either the government or an internal mechanism devised by the religious organisations.

Majority of respondents to a poll carried by the Guardian on its website say not-for-profits organisations, such as mosques and churches, should open their books to either the government or their members, ostensibly to aid accountability.

Out of a total of 302 respondents, 43% say the government should have the right to regulate the financial activities of religious organisations while 39% feel only members of the organisations should have such right.

Their views tally with those of religious leaders who spoke to The Guardian’s Chris Irekamba on the Federal Government’s perceived interference in the affairs of the church.

“Government wanting to regulate the affairs of the church can only be interpreted to mean that government wants to take the position of the head of the church, and then dictate to God, which is impossible,” says Elder Israel Akinadewo, Prelate/Supreme Head, Motailatu Church, Cherubim and Seraphim Worldwide.

Though he accepted that some churches have gone beyond their ‘spiritual mandate’, Cardinal Anthony Olubunmi Okogie says “this does not call for government taking over the affairs of the church, or usurping God’s position.”

The Guardian poll is conducted every week on a variety of topics including but not limited to sports, economy, politics, agriculture and social issues.

Badeh gave me to money build churches, mosques in his village – Witness

A prosecution witness on Thursday told the Federal High Court in Abuja that a former Chief of Defence Staff, Alex Badeh, gave his company N100 million to build churches and a mosque in Mr. Badeh’s village in Adamawa State.

Mr. Badeh, a retired Air Chief Marshal, is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, before Justice Okon Abang of the Federal High Court in Maitama, Abuja.

He is standing trial alongside a firm, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, on a 10-count charge bordering on money laundering, criminal breach of trust and corruption to the tune of N3.97billion.

The prosecution witness, Joseph Okpetu, who continued his evidence as PW13, was led in evidence by counsel to the EFCC, Rotimi Jacobs, SAN.

“I constructed a village house for the first defendant, Alex Badeh, between 2008 and 2012. The fixings, features and painting were done in 2012. We also built a mosque opposite the house.

“After the construction of the house, a thanksgiving service was held. We (Havco Nigeria Limited) renovated the church where the thanksgiving took place. My company was also given the responsibility to provide tables and chairs for the thanksgiving,” Mr. Okpetu said.

According to him, between N5 million and N8 million was spent on renovation of the church used for the thanksgiving.

“Apart from the village house, we built a mosque, two churches and a civic centre for skills acquisition in Vintim Village. All these cost N100 million. I was paid in three installments of N40 million, N30 million and N30million.”

Mr. Okpetu further narrated how his firm received N14 million for building a house for the officer-in-charge of the Joint Armed Forces in Mubi, Adamawa State.

He also told the court that he imported materials, plants and equipment for Badeh’s Kantiye Farm in Nasarawa State.

Questioned on his connection to Mr. Badeh’s company, Iyalikam Nigeria Limited, Mr. Okpetu said: “I do not know Iyalikam, but I was paid from Iyalikam Nigeria Limited the sum of N30million in 2015”.

He was also asked about the structure of his company, Dilplast Nigeria Limited.

“Before 2015, the share structure of my company, Dilplast Nigeria Limited, was four million shares to me, three million shares to Alex Badeh (Jnr) and three million shares to Kamtufa Badeh. Now, I own six million shares, while Kamtufa Badeh owns three million and Victoria Okpetu and Architect Dan Williams own 500,000 shares each,” he explained.

Kamtufa, who according to Mr. Okpetu is Mr. Badeh’s son, contributed a house given to him by his father to Dilplast.

However, Mr. Okpetu’s testimony took a dramatic turn under cross-examination from defence counsel, Akin Olujimi.

The PW13 said in response to a question by Mr. Olujimi that he was not stable psychologically when he made his statement at the EFCC.

The response made Mr. Jacobs jump to his feet.

Mr. Jacob exclaimed, pointing to the defence: “I know that the witness is your own.”

At this point, the matter was adjourned to January 25 and 26, for continuation of trial.

Mr. Badeh was charged with allegedly abusing his office as Chief of Defence Staff by using the dollar equivalent of N1.4billion removed from the accounts of the Nigerian Air Force to purchase properties in choice areas of Abuja between January and December, 2013.

The alleged offence contravenes Section 15 (2) (d) of the Money Laundering (Prohibition) Act, 2011 (as amended) and punishable under Section 15(3) of the same Act.

Reps to wade into FRCN edict on churches, mosques today

The House of Representatives is expected today to wade into the controversies arising from the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria (FRCN) law, which approves 20 years tenure in office for heads of churches and mosques.

The move to debate the development was brought to the floor of the House yesterday by its Minority Leader, Leo Ogor, who urged members to look into the law, which he said, was stirring up controversy and embarassment for the country.

He, therefore, advised the Federal Government to make the FRCN law clear to Nigerians, as it was not passed by the National Assembly.

Oke commended President Muhammadu Buhari for his quick action in stopping the impending crisis by sacking the FRCN boss and reconstituting the board.

He urged the government to face its duties of providing the needed social amenities for the people instead of dabbling in religious matters.

At a press conference yesterday in Ibadan, the cleric said that while government could regulate the finances of the church, it should not interfere in the tenure, activities or internal arrangements of the church.

He said: “The edict should be repealed. There is a separation between the church and the government, yet the government can regulate their finances but not to interfere in the tenure of the leaders of the church. The law should not just be suspended but be expunged totally.

“Even in the United Kingdom (UK), the government regulates the finances but does not regulate the tenure and internal arrangement. The internal arrangement should be governed by the constitutions of those religious houses. The constitution separates the religious bodies from the government.

Meanwhile, a group, the Citizens Advocacy for Social and Economic Rights (CASER), has called on Pastor Enoch Adeboye to rescind his resignation as the General Overseer (G.O.) of The Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG).

A statement issued yesterday by the Executive Director of the Abuja-based human rights group, Mr. Frank Tietie, said CASER would seek a court order to compel Adeboye to reverse his decision should the “holy man of God” refuse to voluntarily do so.

He said the group was acting, not only in the interest of members of the RCCG, but also of the church generally.

Police Raid Mosques Across Germany

German police have carried out more than 200 raids against mosques, apartments and offices across 10 federal states in search for suspected members of an alleged extremist group, officials say.

Hundreds of German security forces stormed the places to arrest members of the banned “The True Religion” group in early hours of Tuesday, German Interior Minister Thomas de Maiziere told reporters in Berlin.

The sweeping raids, he said, included sites in at least 60 cities, particularly in western Germany but no arrests were made. De Maiziere said documents and files belonging to the group had been seized.

The group, commonly known as “Read (it)”, is accused of attempting to glorify militancy and urging young people to travel to Syria and Iraq to fight alongside the notorious Daesh terror group.

De Maiziere said the group was propagating hate messages and radicalizing young people.

The widespread operation came a week after German authorities announced that they had arrested five men suspected of recruiting terrorists for Daesh.

In May, German intelligence services said that of a total of 820 nationals who had left Germany for Syria and Iraq to join Daesh and other terror groups, one-third had returned and 140 were killed abroad. An estimated 420 German militants remain in the two Arab countries.

Wahhabism, the radical ideology dominating Saudi Arabia, which is freely preached by its clerics, fuels the ideological engine of terror organizations like Daesh and Fateh al-Sham, al-Qaeda’s Syrian branch formerly known as al-Nusra Front, which are wreaking havoc in Syria and Iraq.

Credit: presstv

Kaduna govt donates N100m for rebuilding damaged churches, mosques.

Governor Nasir el-Rufai has donated N100 million to support the rebuilding of damaged churches and mosques destroyed during ethno-religious crisis in Southern Kaduna communities.


Announcing the donation during the unveiling of public apology billboards by five communities from Jama’a, Kachia, Kaura, Sanga and Zangon Kataf, El-Rufai said his government had drafted a bill to set up the Kaduna State Peace Commission in fulfilment of the promises he made in 2015.


He said that the commission, which is expected to be established after the endorsement of the state House of Assembly, would promote harmonious co-existence among all indigenes.


He added: “In recognition of the vital importance of showing concrete manifestations of peace, the government has decided to support civic efforts to rebuild damaged churches and mosques with a seed fund of N100 million.


“The challenge of achieving peace and justice is a complex process that requires imagination, wide consultations, technical support, research and time. I have promised you change. I will not be derailed from the legacy of peace that Southern Kaduna deserves from my generation.“This state belongs to everyone that has chosen to make it home. Let us respect each other.”


Abide by the law, do our duty to uphold harmony and firmly reject division and violence. Today, we are here to launch a public apology billboard, as we grief over the lives sadly taken in the recent violence in the Godogodo chiefdom.

Borno Government To Rebuild Churches Destroyed By Boko Haram

Gov. Kashim Shettima of Borno has promised to rebuild churches and other structures destroyed by Boko Haram insurgents in Lassa as he visited liberated communities in the southern senatorial zone of the state.

“We will rebuild churches, private and public buildings destroyed by the insurgents,” Mr. Shettima said when he accessed the level of damage in Lassa in Askira-Uba Local Government Area on Wednesday.

He expressed shock at the magnitude of destruction, saying that the government would commence the rehabilitation in a short while.

“We are going to rebuild churches and others structures destroyed in Lassa and other communities around.

“We are saddened by the large scale destruction in Lassa which is a predominantly Christian community,” Mr. Shettima said.

He added: “We are doing this because we have a duty as a government to ensure fairness, equity and justice in all our endeavors,” he said.

“We believe that the Christian community has rights to be served like its Muslims counterpart, since we have rebuilt Mosques destroyed in other places, we must rebuild churches too.”

Mr. Shettima said the churches would be rebuilt before Christmas ahead of this year’s Yuletide.

OAU Shuts Down Hostel Mosques Over Teaching Of Boko Haram Doctrines

The management of Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State has shut down mosques located in the school hostels over some allegations raised against a group called Muslim Students’ Society of Nigeria (MSSN).

A statement by the Department of Student Affairs (DSA) said the mosques, located in Fajuyi and Awolowo halls of the school allegedly harbors female students for prostitution and teaching of an alien doctrine with a fashion similar to the current Boko Haram insurgency.

Dr. G. O. Akinola, head, Division of Students Affairs gives further details on the closure.

Below is full statement:

The Division of Students Affairs (DSA) acting upon the Statutes and Regulations of Obafemi Awolowo University hereby declares closed until further notice, the two purported mosques in Awolowo and Fajuyi Halls for the reasons of peace, free movement of students and staff within the Halls and the overriding need for the security of all persons, assets and installation in the Halls.

The reasons for this closure are as set out below:

1. On Friday 12th August, 2016 when the current executive members of the Muslim Students Society of Nigeria (MSSN), Obafemi Awolowo University (OAU), Ife Branch were to be inaugurated at the Central Mosque, the Division of Students Affairs (DSA) was invited and was duly represented by the Vice Dean of the Division. There were issues at the inauguration when we were told of another group of Muslim students who wanted to impose themselves and their doctrines which are not consistent with the Constitution of the MSSN members. At that point the Vice-Dean was asked to interact with this group with a view to finding out what their arguments and positions were;

2. After the Vice-Dean’s interaction with the group (which is yet to give a name to itself, although they insisted that they should be called MSSN too), we decided to call members of the group to a meeting at the DSA.

They came on Tuesday, 23rd August 2016 at 6.15pm. After several attempts at making them attend the parley failed, we eventually held a meeting with them on this 23rd August. We stressed at the meeting the point that the DSA is only aware of the existence of only one MSSN as a registered Muslim students’ group on the campus of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife.

We impressed it on the group that even the DSA is also aware that the National body of the MSSN recognises only one MSSN group here on campus. We therefore advised the group to, if they have any issue of disagreement between them and the mainstream MSSN, please for sake of peace on campus and interest of their members take steps to sort them out with the Executive of the MSSN on campus.

3. The meeting deliberated extensively on how to bring this settlement about and at the end of it, it was agreed that a period of one (1) week be given to permit the group interact with the mainstream MSSN and settle their disagreement amicably failing which the two ‘mosques’ at Fajuyi and Awolowo Halls would be closed down for peace to reign.

Note that this splinter group of the MSSN had begun to use the two ‘mosques’ in these Halls as a base for their anti-mainstream MSSN rhetorics and doctrinal disagreement on campus, including recruitment of students for their separate teachings. Note also, that these two ‘mosques’, converted as such were originally Cafeteria buildings meant for the respective halls under the University’s master plan.

We also agreed at the meeting that if the DSA found that they were able to make progress on the reconciliation, even if they have not completely reached an agreement on doctrinal or worship issues, the suggestive closure of the ‘mosque’ would be suspended to permit for more room for rapport and deeper reconciliation. We agreed that we were going to meet again on the very day that the one-week ultimatum to reconcile expired, that is Tuesday 30th August, 2016.

Meanwhile, desirous of a way to convince the DSA that the splinter group meant well, they invited the  to visit the two ‘mosques’ in Fajuyi and Awolowo Halls to see that there was nothing sinister in the activities of the splinter group and that if anything at all, they have been peaceful and law-abiding.

4. However, on Thursday 25th August, a meeting was held with the University recognized MSSN Executive members. This same MSSN Executive is also recognised by the OAU Muslim Community and by the National body of MSSN in Nigeria. That meeting was called to hear the complaints of the splinter MSSN members and their grievances. The recognized MSSN was informed of the University’s plan to close the ‘mosques’ in Fajuyi and Awolowo Halls if the splinter group of the MSSN failed to make peace with the mainstream MSSN and reconcile accordingly;

5. On Friday 26th August, the MSSN National body paid a courtesy visit to the DSA to discuss the furore over the recognized MSSN on campus. The visitation team led by the President of the National MSSN, Muhammad Jameel Muhammad came in company of the campus mainstream MSSN and some of his officials. The thrust of their visit was to make a passionate appeal to the DSA on their fear for the possibility of “Emergence on the OAU campus of an extremist group of Muslim students in a fashion similar to the current Boko Haram insurgency besetting Nigeria”.

They expressed some fears and strongly felt that the splinter MSSN group in OAU and what they referred to as “their strange doctrinal principles and procedures” could lead to the materialization of such fears. The visitation team pleaded with the University through the DSA to do all that was lawful and needful to see that such fears were allayed.

The visitation team also reiterated their support for the recognized MSSN mainstream organization and its president. In addition, the team gave a copy of the MSSN Constitution and 5 copies of the articles of faith of the MSSN titled “MSSN at a Glance” to the DSA;

6. On the night of 27th August, 2016 reports came to the Acting Dean, DSA, that the splinter MSSN group were planning to hold a religious programme in Awolowo Hall Cafeteria the following day (i.e. 28th August, 2016), for which they had not sought or obtained permission.

The Acting Dean reported to the University Chief Security Officer who immediately sent a group of his men to see how things would go with a view to apprehending any illegality or untoward behaviours and report forthwith. Report came that the religious programme held and that the leaders of the splinter MSSN presided at that programme. The point here is that the group failed to seek or secure approval for this religious activity in the Cafeteria.

7. However, on the night preceding the expiration of the ultimatum given to the Splinter MSSN group, to make peace with the mainstream MSSN and reconcile accordingly, a text message was sent to the Vice Dean, DSA, from the Splinter MSSN group that they had contacted someone who would help broker the reconciliation talks and that the person said he would see the Chief Imam of the Central mosque later. The DSA quickly apprehended this as delay tactics as the text could have been sent earlier.

Otherwise, why the night preceding the expiration of the ultimatum to reconcile? In any case, on the agreed date when the ultimatum expired (Tuesday 30th August, 2016), the DSA expected them to come for a meeting at the DSA’s office, but to our chagrin they refused to show up.

8. Meanwhile, acting upon the invitation earlier extended to the DSA by this splinter MSSN group, the Acting Dean and Vice Dean at about 10.45am on 31st August, 2016, visited the Fajuyi and Awolowo Halls with a view to seeing for themselves samples of the activities of the splinter MSSN group.

We told them of many irregular and outright illegal things we have heard them do at the ‘mosques’. We made them realise that they had been holding unauthorized religious programmes in these ‘mosques’ and several other places on campus without approval from the DSA. They, however, argued
that they had not been violent but law abiding and that they had never done anything illegal or irregular in any of their religious meetings.

9. But on this our visit to Awolowo ‘mosque’, we discovered a door leading to one of the rooms in the ‘mosque’ was securely locked from inside and the occupants refused to open. We threatened to force the door open if they refused any further, and after much persuasion, the door was opened and we discovered to our utter amazement that a group of girls numbering about a dozen were locked inside the room either fully or partially veiled. Our amazement was that the room in which they were locked or locked themselves was in a male hall, we wondered to no end why purported female students would be locked up in a male hall during lecture hours, no matter the excuse. Before we could interrogate them, some escaped through the backdoor of the room but we were able to apprehend three of them from whom we collected their identity cards.

10. At the Fajuyi Hall, we also discovered to utter shock that a group of girls who purported themselves to be students were locked in a room in the ‘mosque’. We interrogated them and they claimed that they were kept there by their leaders who happen to be the leaders of MSSN splinter group. They, in addition claimed that they were praying in the room. Our dilemma was why a group of female students would claim to be praying during lecture hours in an exclusive male hall at around 11am! There were five girls in this room and we collected the identity cards from four of them. The fifth one who was fully veiled said she had not her identity card on her. However, a male student who vouched for this fully veiled girl volunteered to stand in for her until she produced her identity card. We collected this male student’s identity card.

11. Having observed the seeming obstinacy of the splinter MSSN group to interact with the DSA and to fulfill the requirements of the agreement reached on 23rd August, we again were forced to send a follow-up invitation to them stating that they should come to the DSA for a meeting on Wednesday, 31st August for a serious interaction at the DSA’s office. But to our utter dismay they sent a text message to the DSA that all of them in the group would be having Continuous Assessment tests from 10am to 5pm on 31st August, 2016. We replied that text message that no test of any kind could possibly last from 10am to 5pm in this University and that in their own interest they needed to show up for the meeting on or before 2.00pm on 31st August to discuss the issue of reconciliation as agreed in our last meeting with them.

12. The splinter MSSN group eventually came in the afternoon of 31st August at about 1.15pm. We intimated them with our findings and told them they had to put a stop to their practice of harbouring girls in rooms within the ‘mosques’. Their leaders insisted that they could not abide by that demand and that they reserved the right to keep any of their female members in the rooms in the ‘mosque’! We explained to them that what they were doing was contrary to the laws of the University and the regulations guiding religious worship and students’ conduct. But they held their ground that since the ‘mosque’ was a place of worship they could not abide by the rules and the need to desist from keeping female students within its rooms at any time. The meeting ended in a stalemate.

13. We thereafter pleaded with the Chief Imam of the University to take full charge of the ‘mosques’ and prevent forthwith any breach of the University’s rules within its walls. He declined flatly and said he would rather not be held responsible for what ever happened in those ‘mosques’ as he had since dissociated himself from the practices and doctrines of the splinter MSSN who controlled it.

14. It should be noted that the Federal Government, of Nigeria of which Obafemi Awolowo University is an integral part, has not legalized prostitution in Universities. It is pertinent to note also that no female should be camped in a male facility under the guise of religion, as this is tantamount to running a brothel which will breed prostitution; and this is illegal. It is only fit, proper and responsible that any grossly abused university facility be closed down.

15. Consequently, acting within its powers to prevent any breakdown of law and order and to ensure freedom of movement of persons within the respective halls of residence, especially at this time of dire security concern in the country, the DSA has therefore acted this 2nd day of September, 2016 to seal off and close down henceforth, the two ‘mosques’ in Awolowo and Fajuyi Halls until such a time that orderliness and the rule of the University would be respected within its walls.

Why Lagos Shut Down 53 Churches, Mosques, Hotels

The Lagos State Government has shut down no fewer than 53 churches, mosques and hotels across the state over noise pollution and other environmental offences.

Some of the sealed worship centers were accused of converting residential apartments to places of worship, which according to the government has been constituting nuisance to other residents.

The General Manager, Lagos State Environmental Protection Agency, LASEPA, Adebola Shabi, after the exercise, said the agency had been inundated with complaints from residents and neighbours of the shut facilities.

He said, “In recent times, most of the petitions kept coming to us. It was as if we are not working at all. That was why we shut the facilities.”

Shabi explained that some of the affected facilities had been served abatement notices before the eventual closure, adding that the growing rate of establishment of worship centers called for serious regulations, especially in the areas of noise generated across the state.

He said some of the noise-making worship centers were usually makeshift structures.

Credit: Punch

Muslim Man’s Rant Against ISIS Goes Viral: ‘These Impostors Pray In Our Mosques, Lets Hunt Them Down’

A Muslim electrician has found sudden online fame after his furious rant against ISIS jihadists who carried out the attacks in Paris went viral.
The video has been viewed more than four million times since it was posted on Facebook yesterday

In the video the 35-year-old electrical engineer, who calls himself Chronic 2 Bass, says it is up to Muslims to fight against ISIS terrorists and report potentially radicalised people as they share the same places of worship.He said:

“It’s up to us to hunt down these people down. It’s up to us to speak up about the
slightest hint of something fishy and to refer them to the authorities.

“It’s not snitching,”I’ve had enough of watching this b*****ks.””Let’s protect our beautiful religion. Let us rise up. Even though there is nothing to justify because the most intelligent people will know that Islam is not [violent].”It isn’t the authorities who will do the work, it’s not the spies, it’s us. All Muslims who go to the mosque.The solution can only come from us, because unfortunately these people go the same places of worship as us.

“Let’s go and hunt down these impostors who try to pass as Muslims and kill people.
“Enough is enough of these pseudo Muslims who dishonour two million Muslims.”