Christian Body seeks EFCC Chairman’s Withdrawal from Pastoral Role At Redeemed Church on Political romance
The Christian Integrity Watch Nigeria (CIWN), led by Rev. Dr. Thomas Nwanchukwu, has issued a scathing rebuke directed at the leadership of the Redeemed Christian Church of God and the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), urging them to swiftly renounce the pastoral status of Ola Olukoyede, the Chairman of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The call comes amidst allegations of Olukoyede’s involvement in political vendettas through the misuse of his commission’s powers, tarnishing the image of the Redeemed Church and the broader Christian community.
The uproar stems from the outcome of a Fact-Check exercise carried out by the body following the EFCC’s involvement of the former governor of Kogi State, Yahaya Bello in charge No. FHC/ABJ/CR/550/2022: FRN V. 1. Ali Bello 2. Dauda Suleiman, currently pending before Honorable Justice J.K. Omotosho of the Federal High Court, Abuja Division, now ‘Amended Charge’ to include in the count, the name of Yahaya Bello, and describing him as being “at large.”
Addressing the newsmen in Enugu on Thursday, Nwanchukwu disclosed that EFCC’s claims are disjointed and watery, noting that for the fact that the crime said to be committed happened months before the assumption of office by Bello, he can not be linked to the case except that it has become obvious that Olukoyede who is a pastor and expected to exhibit utmost integrity is now conniving with political cronies to victimize the former governor.
President Bola Tinubu appointed Olukoyede as the Executive Chairman of the EFCC. Born in Ikere-Ekiti, Ekiti, on October 14, 1969, Olukoyede boasts an impressive educational background, having studied at institutions such as Lagos State University, University of Lagos, and Harvard University. Prior to his appointment, Olukoyede served as the EFCC Secretary and Chief of Staff to former EFCC Chair, Ibrahim Magu.
Despite his notable credentials, Olukoyede’s alleged involvement in partisan political activities has drawn sharp criticism. The Kogi State Government has accused the EFCC, under Olukoyede’s leadership, of orchestrating a smear campaign against former Governor Bello. The EFCC’s amended charge against Bello, accusing him of diverting Kogi State Government funds in September 2015, four months before assuming office, has been denounced as laughable and politically motivated.
In a statement issued by the Commissioner for Information in Kogi State, Kingsley Fanwo, the state government condemned the EFCC’s actions as a blatant attempt to tarnish Bello’s reputation for political gain.
The state government refuted the allegations, highlighting the absurdity of accusing Bello of crimes committed before assuming office as Governor. The EFCC’s pursuit of baseless charges against Bello and other political figures has raised serious doubts about the commission’s credibility and impartiality.
CIWN, along with other civil society organizations, echoed the state government’s sentiments, calling on President Tinubu to intervene and restore integrity to the EFCC.
They demanded Olukoyede’s removal from his pastoral role within the Redeemed Christian Church of God, citing concerns over his involvement in partisan activities contrary to the church’s principles.
“The unprecedented level of political interference and manipulation within the EFCC has sparked outrage and undermined public confidence in the commission’s ability to carry out its mandate effectively. Civil society groups and concerned citizens have called for urgent reforms to insulate anti-corruption agencies from political influence and ensure their impartiality in combating corruption,” CIWN said.
The body warns that the body of Christ should not be dragged into political matter that could tarnish the image of the Church, adding that the leadership of RCCG must quickly disassociate self from the EFCC chairman before it drags the name of the church into the mud.