One man of God who has been rated as the richest pastor in Nigeria is Bishop David Oyedepo, the general overseer of Living Faith Bible Church a.k.a Canaan Land. This Omu-Aran-born astute preacher has been able to construct the biggest church auditorium in Africa and is still planning to do more. With two universities to his credit, Bishop Oyedepo is indeed a business-oriented pastor. Recently, some information was stumbled on by reliable sources who accused the pastor of siphoning his church members. The news is about the way Bishop Oyedepo operates financially in the church. He is alleged to have partnered with a foreign firm that supplies e-Payment machines. This is meant for the members to pay their monthly tithes via the electronic system. They were also given code numbers through which they would pay.
A source who is close to him had this to say about the new development:
“I fit lie and say to you guys that I’m a fan of Nigerian pastors but I won’t do that; so I’m gonna come out with my hands held up high and say, I detest the acts of most of them especially the very rich ones such as Daddy Oyedapo.
Anytime I read articles about these funky rich, Rolex wearing, Rolls Royce driving pastors, I like to share them here. Please find below an article I just read about Daddy, lol.
This is not as nasty as some I have read in recent times but nonetheless, it didn’t portend good for Daddy. No be me write am o.
Bishop David Oyedepo, founder of Winners Chapel which owns Covenant University, has introduced e-transacts for the collection of tithes and offering in the church.
Reports say there is now a big notice board set up at the entrance of the university situated at Ota along the Idi-Iroko Road, Ogun State, which says:
‘Pay your tithe and offering on the go: For tithe, dial *389*77*Amount # and For offering, dial *389*78*Amount #.’
The e-payment method for tithes and offering was introduced a few months back, especially for the Covenant University students who worship there.”
Recalled that he got into trouble water in Unite Kingdom when authorities opened a case against Bishop David Oyedepo’s Winners’ Chapel London over issues concerning “misapplication and diversion of charity funds”.
According to UK officials, they are concerned about the nature of the transfers involving Winners Chapel London with registration number 1134421 and it’s World Mission Agency. The case which is being handled by UK Charity Regulatory Commission is seen by authorities as an abuse of the law governing religious activities in the country.
In a statement, the commission stated that it has a regulatory case with the World Mission Agency (1085902)/Winners Chapel London (1134421), and has considered documents and information shared by the trustees “and our case is continuing.”
“The concerns that we are looking at are issues of conflict of interest, an allegation that charitable funds have been misapplied and concerns about the reputational management of the charity.
We cannot share further information while our case is underway and cannot put a timescale on our case at this stage,” the commission further explained.
A press officer in the commission, Tallulah Perez-Sphar said, “the commission became alarmed when it discovered that there were instances where money transfers involving the church appear shady. She observed that by the virtue of the commission’s powers to keep an eye on all charitable ventures, it had to open a case against the church “after several complain and allegations trailing its activities.”
According to Perez-Sphar, “the case relates very much to how those charities are being managed and it involves transfer of funds,” she added.
It is believed that Oyedepo’s Winners Chapel in UK raised about £16 million between 2008 and 2012, part of which was said to have been transferred to the Nigerian church’s headquarters.
According to sources, the church’s financial activities shows that the World Mission Agency has approximately £8.6 million in assets and capital. Most of the funds from the UK church have been channeled to Nigeria.
Reports also have it that a large chunk of the funds were transferred in questionable circumstances to the Nigerian church authorities between 2009 and 2012.
In 2011, about £663,532 meant “for onward transmission to the world headquarters in Nigeria” was transferred. The sum of £324,683 and £149,000 were transferred between 2010 and 2009, while another £192,000 was also traced to the Nigeria headquarters within the same period.
The said sums were said to have been meant “for charitable activities in Africa, welfare assistance for undisclosed purpose, including some payment made as special privileges to certain members of the church.”
Oyedepo who is estimated by Forbes Magazine to be worth £90 million, about $140 million owns one of the biggest churches in Africa, located in the outskirts of Lagos.
His church in Cameroon was one of the over 100 Pentecostal churches shut by Presdent Paul Biya over “criminal activities”.