Monday, September 29, 2014 11:37 pm
Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN on Monday washed his hands off the controversies surrounding the smuggling of $9.3 million to South Africa allegedly for the purchase of arms. The funds was seized in South Africa on 5 September from two Nigerians and an Israeli who brought it into the country in a private jet owned by the CAN President.
While speaking at the meeting of the National Executive Council meeting of CAN at the National Christian Centre, Abuja on Monday, Oritsejafor admitted that though he owned the private jet which was used to convey the raw cash to South Africa, he has leased the aircraft to another company when it was involved in the cash smuggling incident.
Oritsejafor who promised that he will not do anything to tarnish Christianity said: “As you are all aware, the media has been awash in the past few days about an unfortunate incident involving the movement of funds from Nigeria to South Africa.
The CAN President also used the occasion to affirm that he did not receive any aircraft from the President as it is being insinuated.
“In the unfortunate news reports, attempts have been made to link me directly with the transaction.
“So far I have refrained from making any direct public response pending the time that I would have brief the leaders if the church and explain my position on the issues to them.
“I believe that the primary institution that I owe any explanation to is the church.
“At the risk of being seen to be defending myself, I wish to confirm to the distinguished leaders of the church that the Bombardier Challenger 601 aircraft in question is mine.
“The aircraft was presented to me as a gift by members of our congregation and ministry partners worldwide at my 40th anniversary of my call into the ministry.
“May I be permitted to stress that the aircraft was not given to me by the President of Nigeria, neither was it a settlement for any political favour or patronage.
“With the benefit of hindsight, the President of the country was a guest in our church during the anniversary celebration when the jet was presented to me.
“The President of Nigeria has nothing to do with the gift of the aircraft. By the way I still wonder why all those saying this, still cannot come out to show proof so that the matter can be put to rest once and for all. Let me say that this might be an issue for the courts in the near future.
“Based on this, I leased the aircraft on August 2, 2014 to a company to run it. It was the leasee that entered into an agreement with the people who carried out the transfer of funds. Having leased the aircraft to the Green Coast Produce Company Limited, any transaction undertaken with the aircraft can no longer be attached to me.
“In as much as I am shocked and distressed by the incident, I wish to appeal to Christians in Nigeria to remember that a war has been waged against the Nigerian church.
“This war is being fought on many fronts and this unfortunate incident is another dimension in the assault against the church.
“It is clear that those who manipulated this conspiracy desire to create a schism in the church.
“The media hype and the deliberate distortion of information that followed it confirmed that forces that desperately desire to cause division and disunity in the church are at work. Even the devil knows that a house that is divided cannot stand.
“As Christians, we need unity in the church now more than ever. We are witnessing inhuman attacks by religious extremists against Christians in the northern part of the country, while christian infrastructure is being destroyed in hundreds.
“If we permit the enemy divide us, our chances of corporate survival shall be severely threatened.
“Distinguished leaders of the church, please permit me to state clearly before God and before all of you here present today, that I am not a party to the movement of $9.3m from Nigeria to South Africa to purchase arms and ammunition. I am not part of the deal. I know nothing about it,” said Oristejafor.
While commending the Catholic Church for its support, Oritsejafor asked the heads of the different blocks that make up CAN to caution and control their subordinates and followers from making public statements that will further divide the church.
Did you read this story at all, Judge Dele?
As a fellow christian, I’m terribly ashamed of this devious wolf in sheep’s clothing. He is a misleading prophet, to say the least.
what does dele know,I don’t think he can read.the jet was on leaseeeee oooo stop judging ur brother in christ wrongly