Fraud allegations made against Nigerian bishop

The Church of Nigeria’s Bishop of Sapele has been asked by police to respond to allegations of fraud.

A Church of Nigeria bishop has been asked by police to respond to allegations of fraud. Last week police in Benin in the Southern Nigeria’s Edo State in the Niger Delta asked the Rt. Rev. Blessing Erife­ta, (pictured) Bishop of Sapele, to respond to allegations made by members of the chapter of his cathedral parish that he had misappropriated funds set aside for a building project. In July members of the diocesan Youth League occupied St Luke’s Cathedral shortly before the start of the diocesan synod, locking out the clergy and congregation for several weeks in protest to the bishop’s administration of the diocese. They petitioned Archbishop Nicholas Okoh to remove Bishop Erifeta from office, accusing him of “financial recklessness, maladmin­istration, disrespect to elders and embark[ing] on incessant trips abroad with the diocese funds.” However, diocesan secretary Churchill Akure denied the allegations. In a statement distributed to church leaders and the media, Mr. Akure said: “The cathedral has been known for so many bad reports in the past and the bishop did not give them a room to continue in such bad light through regular caution and rebuke. This is what they called insult. They keep resisting correction and are not ready to adjust. I pray God will open their eyes of understanding.”

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