CHURCH EX-COMMUNICATES BISHOP IN OGONI
Barely two months after he was retired, the erstwhile Bishop of Ogoni Diocese of Christ Army Church of Nigeria, the Rt. Rev. E.A. Richard, has been ex-communicated from the Church.
The Synod Executive Council of the church ordered Bishop Richard's sack after an emergency meeting held on November 8, in Port Harcourt.
The Council's action according to a statement issued by the Synod's Media aide, Pastor Jerry Needam, was induced by 'alleged grievous acts of misconduct' by the embattled bishop.
Pastor Needam stated that after his retirement on September 10, this year, as Diocesan bishop, Rt. Rev. Richard allegedly continued to parade himself as a Bishop of the church besides other actions considered inimical to the integrity and reputation of the church.
He said that the synod also pointed out in the former Bishop's ex-communication letter dated November 9, 2011 that, 'if not nipped in the bud, his actions were capable of disintegrating the Ogoni Diocese of the church and also cause greater dissention and desperation in the church.'
According to the Synod's spokesman, all official efforts to get Rt. Rev. Richard to respond to the catalogue of accusations against him were rebuffed and the Synod had no option but to invoke the Supreme law which is ex-communication.
In the three-page letter entitled, 'Notice of Ex-communication,' and signed by the Synod Secretary, Ven. E.V. Obialo, Bishop Richard was accused of 'grievous acts of misconduct which you have continuously committed against the Ogoni Diocese and the Christ Army Church of Nigeria as a whole, contrary to the Constitution of the Church.'
It accused him of 'bluntly' refusing to honour the invitations of the Synod Disciplinary Council where he ought to have defended himself on the allegations made against him.
'Your aforementioned acts or conduct amount to causing and promoting schism, dissension, and separation among the flocks of the church, willful, disobedience, insubordination, disrespect to constituted authority of the church and disloyalty to the authority of the Synod,' the Bishop was told.
Efforts to get Rt. Rev. Richard's reaction as at press time failed