The Board of Trustees and elders of the King’s Court parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) in Dublin, Ireland, have accused pastor-in-charge, Segun Gbadebo, of fraud.
Gbadebo was accused of two times withdrawing the sum of €1,700 (N765,000) for his personal mortgage.
The board alleged that he was getting €3,000 (N1.35 million) allowance without minding the state of the church’s account.
Austin Oduniyi, an assistant pastor, on 10 December, 2017, told church elders in a meeting that Gbadebo was also getting €500 (N225,000) cash bonus from the church.
He revealed that a Mercedes car was bought for Gbadebo from the church account, for which it was paying a hire purchase of €560 (N252,000) monthly. He added that another Audi, for which €5,000 (N2.25 million) was deposited for, with a hire purchase of €650 (N292,500) was paid, was also given to Gbadebo.
However, the Audi car was stolen in 2014 while the church had to fulfil the terms of the hire purchase. He said Gbadebo kept secret the compensation received from the insurer.
Oduniyi also said the church had been warned that the compensation did not reflect in its audit report, which could cause the church some problems with tax.
According to him, some elders had warned Gbadebo that church members had stopped paying their tithes with the suspicion that he was spending the money lavishly.
He said contrary to the claims by the pastor in an address to the church, the elders did not approve his spending, including the addition of his and his wife’s private phone bills and expenditure to the church’s.
After his address, Oduniyi was said to have called Gbadebo unprintable names, forcing him to walk out of the church auditorium.
The pastor was also accused of stalling the formation of a financial committee, insisting he would run the church’s finances himself. He however allowed the committee to be formed when the church ran into financial problems.
He was also said to have delayed the submission of church finances for tax purposes in 2015, for which reason the church was fined €1,047 (N471,150).
In an account statement seen by Newsbreak, the church spent €13,629 (N6.13 million) on evangelism and €16,315 (N7.3 million) on welfare in 2015 alone. It spent €8,024 (N3.61 million) on evangelism and €24,716 (N11.1 million) on welfare in 2016.
In a meeting with church elders on 13 December, 2017, Gbadebo denied the allegations saying his bills stopped being paid since the beginning of 2017. He also said he had been receiving €600 (N270,000) allowance which was stopped immediately he got a job. He added that he was also placed on €1000 (N450,000) allowance when his laundry business flopped, an amount he said has been converted to the payment for the Audi car.
Gbadebo was quoted to have claimed the car is his since the payment was made from his allowance. He said the Mercedes he was given was bought by the church on the previous arrangement on his allowance. He said the church accountant had approved of it when he demanded an explanation.
He also said he possessed the church’s online banking details because he wanted to ensure no misappropriation was done under his watch. He said some monies had been used to repay members who loaned the church some money.
On the late submission of account statements, Gbadebo said he had delayed the 2015 report because he was accused of doing things on his own so he waited for the church’s financial committee to handle it. In 2016, he said he had called Oduniyi to change the narration on it to no avail.
In a new development, the church’s elders have written a petition to Tunde Adebayo-Oke, the regional pastor of RCCG in Dublin, demanding that Gbadebo is investigated for allegations of fraud.
The petition urged the church leadership to stall Gbadebo’s bid to return as pastor-in-charge after a one-year leave of absence.
It said the allegations have not been properly investigated and corresponding action taken. It threatened that it may report the violation of the Irish Charity Regulations Act, 2009, to the authorities.
It said the church demands Gbadebo responds to the allegations or they may approach the High Court for an injunction barring him from returning to the church until thorough investigation and prosecution is done.
The petition said the Charity Regulators may be involved which may lead to a probe of the RCCG King’s Court books and other parishes of the RCCG in Ireland. It also said aggrieved members are threatening to petition Enoch Adeboye, General Overseer of the RCCG.
It urged the church to stop Gbadebo to restore confidence in the RCCG and avoid dragging the name of Jesus into disrepute.
Efforts to reach Gbadebo proved abortive as he did not respond to a mail sent to him seeking his reaction.