US Embassy denies Bishop Oyedepo visa
It was to the utter consternation of Nigerian interviewees for visa at the Lagos office of the Embassy of the United States Thursday when the founder of Faith Tabernacle in Ota, Ogun State and Living Faith Church Worldwide, otherwise known as Winners' Chapel International, Bishop David Oyedepo was denied visa.
THISDAY reports that while the internationally acclaimed preacher was denied visa, an ace comedian, Abovi Ugboma, popularly known as Bovi, was lucky with the embassy as he was issued the visa.
But not so his wife, Kris Asimonye. She was not as lucky as she was denied the travelling document.
According to the newspaper’s report, the embassy did not give any other reason except the standard default explanation that the Bishop did not qualify for visa renewal in its assessment and urged him to try again.
What actually drew attention to the development was the remonstration of the visibly flustered preacher who created scene whilst querying the grounds for his refusal.
This Day cites an unnamed insider as saying that Oyedepo told the embassy he had been traveling to the states as far back as 1980s and had not violated any rules or committed any crime to have warranted being denied a renewal of his visa.
According to the source, he immediately sent for his bodyguards to get his phones so he could make some calls, but the embassy allegedly told him he could not make calls within the precincts of the visa-issuing section of the embassy.
When THISDAY contacted the embassy for clarifications on why the popular Bishop was denied visa, a staff of the embassy in the media department, requested that an email be sent with the questions and promised to respond as soon as possible.
Curiously, the embassy, believed to be swift to responding to mails, neither acknowledged nor responded to the email sent since 5.05p.m. yesterday till the newspaper went to bed.
Embassy sources however hinted of the possibility that the popular preacher might have made some calls to individuals that would intervene on his behalf and the visa eventually issued.
In the mail sent by THISDAY, three questions were asked: “One, we understand that there was serious drama earlier today, when Bishop David Oyedepo was denied the US visa. However, because we could verify our facts from other applicants at the embassy today, our question, therefore, is on what grounds was a Bishop Oyedepo, known across the globe, denied a visa?
“Our sources in-house had also hinted that given his connection, the CG might likely be contacted and his visa might be issued eventually through a referral. If that's true, why deny him in the first place?
“We also learnt that the trend of denying prominent Nigerians visa is rampant now, including the Abuja embassy. Is it part of plans to clampdown on Nigerians of a certain category and social status and on what basis?”