Efforts by the contractor to reach Bishop Oyedepo, the wealthy man of God has been made impossible by his aides while the contractor suffers embarrassment and integrity challenges from creditors, suppliers and sub-contractors with some already threatening legal action.
Correspondences and physical appeals over this legitimate debt owed Newarc Development by the mega church for the construction of the school that already has over 300 students in attendance has failed to yield any positive result.
At the centre of it all is Arc. Denis Akabogu, principal partner, Spacetime Consultants who is the lead consultant who failed to stand the moral high ground or possibly, acting on instructions of the project director at Winners Chapel, Canaanland, chose to act contrary to his professional dictates.
In several meetings, the contractor has sought mediation but the church head of legal, Pastor Olusola harassed, insulted and intimidated the contractor with unprintable words for daring to brief his lawyer.
It was also gathered that the Building Plan Permit which was to have been sorted out by the church prior to commencement of construction in 2010 was not done; this led to the closure of the site by a task force of Lagos State Ministry of Physical Planning and Development late 2010 for almost two years.
All efforts to reach the contractor, whom we gathered is a long-standing member has proven abortive as he has relocated due to threats and constant harassment from stakeholders in debt.
The most appalling news in the whole saga is the audacity of the Project Management Department of the church who for no reason at all brought in several sub-contractors to execute some aspects of work after financially frustrating the contractor and without his consent which is contrary to the contract dictates.
When we called Arc. Akabuogu, he feigned ignorance on the issue. “I am not aware of any debt. I am not the right person to be addressed on this issue; you will have to call the church to get the true position on this matter,” he offered
We also put a call across to Pastor David Olusola, head of legal of the church as well as one of the key lieutenants to Bishop Oyedepo. He also parried affirmation on the debt: “I am not a member of the board of Faith Academy so I may not be the best person to speak on the issue. I am not aware of any debt being owed any contractor.”
Calls and text messages to Pastor Nathaniel, executive secretary of the church yielded no response either. However, one of his aides who spoke to us but does not want to be quoted said, “I strongly believe Bishop Oyedepo is unaware of the true state of this transaction. He hates to owe and always does everything possible not to owe people. He may sack people over this because this contractor genuinely worked and deserves to be paid but unfortunately it is not under my purview. Don’t forget that apart from this school in Gowon Estate, we also have several others aside our university. He is a blessed man. His aides are the one causing this confusion and embarrassment to him and the church.”
This magazine reliably gathered that this contractor is not the only one owed by Oyedepo as there are several others who are also in great difficulties due to the amount of money owed them by the man in charge of Winners Chapel.