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$35 Million Money Laundering: EFCC may arrest Pastor Oyakhilome …Seizes NIMASA Bosses Passports over N4 Billion Contract Scam

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Chris Oyakhilome can confirm that the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC), is currently investigating allegations of money laundering against the flamboyant general overseer of Christ Embassy Church, Pastor Chris Oyakhilome.

The commission has also seized the international passports of some top guns of the Nigeria Maritime and Safety Agency (NIMASA), who are being quizzed for their roles in a N4 Billion contract scam at the agency . They are the Director-General, Temisan Omatseye, Director of Finance, Mr Bulame, and Procurement Director, M.K Shehu.

Oyahkilome who is no stranger to controversy, is alleged to have laundered a whopping $35 Million into foreign bank accounts. sources hinted that between 2002 and 2009, Oyakhilome moved huge sums of church's fund and dodgy donations from shady characters into strings of accounts in the United States and Europe.

Spokesman for the EFCC, Femi Babafemi, who confirmed the commission's investigation into the pastor's role in the alleged crime in a chat on Tuesday said the EFCC got the hint from “intelligence” reports. The EFCC also got assistance from the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime.

Although Babafemi declined to give details of the development, learnt that the pastor may soon be invited for questioning.

Oyakhilome raised dust few years ago when the Nigeria Broadcasting Commission (NBC) banned miracle sessions on television. Trouble started after Oyakhilome purportedly healed a “blind' man on his weekly programme “Atmosphere For Miracles”. After the 'healing' of the man whom Oyakhilome claimed had been blind from birth, the pastor asked him what the color of his( Oyakhilome ) tie was. To the chagrin of viewers, the man said blue. The problem was, a person who is blind from birth, would not know colors.

His romance with another controversial pastor, T.B Joshua raised some dust, as he (Oyakhilome) was alleged to be getting some fetish support from Joshua.

Oyakhilome who allegedly gives financial targets to his parish pastors, it was learnt, tried to use some of his contacts inside the EFCC to kill the investigation, but failed.

The pressure on his pastors to raise millions of naira within a short period or be demoted or removed, has allegedly led to some of his pastors doing all they could to impress the pastor and keep their jobs. It was also learnt that members are also pressured to make huge donations.

This tactics reportedly made one his pastors at the church's Ifako, Lagos parish, Lawrence Agada, to steal so much from Sheraton Hotel, Ikeja, where he worked as a top cashier. Agada bought two generating sets worth N6 million, donated N6 million for renovations at the headquarters, N1 million for plastic chairs and N400, 000 to bankroll the Ifako parish's senior pastor, Carol Sholesi, for a trip to Australia to attend International Federation of Business and Professional Women

Gbenga Kehinde who was indicted for stealing N40 Million from his former employers, Eko International Bank, said he gave N10 Million to the church. Another Advanced Fee Fraud convict, Okoro Osagie Victor, aka Jerry Finger, indicted for obtaining $96, 000 under false pretense said in court that he gave three quarters of the proceeds to Christ Embassy in tithes and offerings.

NIMASA's trio of Omatseye, Bulame and Shehu , currently on bail, have been restricted from leaving Nigeria until investigations into their alleged crime is concluded by the EFCC.

They are been investigated for awarding dodgy contracts to some top shots of the Peoples Democratic Party, (PDP) worth N4Billion. They covered coastal surveillance, search and rescue, and maritime pollution.


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