Chris Oyakhilome’s Christ Embassy under investigation by UK’s Charity commission
The ongoing divorce case between Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, Senior Pastor of “Christ Embassy” and his wife, Anita Oyakhilome; may become a side show as the United Kingdom’s Charity Commission has started investigating the UK branch of Christ Embassy, over controversial payments. The United Kingdom Charity Commission has launched a probe to look at the transfer of at least £3.6 million (N941 million) between 2008-2012, by the church to overseas entities.
The Charity Commission, which is the regulator of charities in England and Wales, released a statement yesterday, confirming the inquiry into the financial activities of Christ Embassy. The statement disclosed that the commission has opened “a statutory inquiry to investigate the church over a number of serious concerns relating to the use of charitable funds, in particular large connected party payments and the potential misapplication of grant funding.”
Statutory inquiries are only opened to investigate the most serious regulatory breaches.
According to the commission, the purpose of the inquiry is to determine whether there has been any mismanagement or misconduct on behalf of the charity trustees, and to establish whether charitable funds have been properly applied and consequently take appropriate remedial action if necessary.
The commission had on 11 August, cut off the powers of the church’s board of trustees, after it appointed an interim manager, Rod Weston, of the international audit and accounting firm, Mazars, to take over the management of the church.
The commission stated that “until the investigation is concluded, Mr Weston would take over the management of the charity, including its staff, assets, interests, and relations with third parties.”
He is also expected to discharge the functions of the church’s trustees and take steps necessary to secure and take control of the assets of the church.
However, the commission stated the appointment of the interim manager would not affect the activities of the church.
The investigation was reportedly commenced in July 2013, but after the commission interviewed members of the board of trustees and went through records and books of the church, it wasn’t convinced, which prompted the appointment of the interim manager.
Consequently, UK tax authority, HM Revenue and Customs, withheld £2.7 million (N711.4 million) due to the church in donation between 2008 and 2012 until the conclusion is resolved.
Meanwhile, the Charity Commission has declined to disclose details of the inquiry, saying it does not provide details of on-going cases so as not to jeopardize the investigations.
In a similar vein, the Charity Commission had carried out a statutory inquiry into the UK branch of Matthew Ashimolowo’s KICC church.
He was found guilty of approving payments and benefits for himself and his wife between 2002-2005 and was ordered to repay £200,000.
Posted on September 4, 2014, in latest news, marriage and tagged 2008-2012, Anita, Chris Oyakhilome, Christ Embassy, church, divorce, england, investigation, KICC, Matthew Ashimolowo, overseas, Senior Pastor, UK’s Charity commission, wife. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.