At a time the Assemblies of God church is embroiled in a bitter leadership tussle over alleged financial impropriety, the struggle for the control of a wing of the Cherubim and Seraphim (C&S) Church has led to a bloody clash in which the General Overseer narrowly escaped death.
Though Prophet Obas Kayode, the GO of Jah Zion Cherubim and Seraphim Church is alive to tell the story of the attack on him, his multi-million naira 50 room hotel and pharmaceutical company in Isanlu, Kogi State, were allegedly razed by a faction of the church loyal to the two sons of the founding General Overseer of the church, Prophet Oni Jolugba.
Findings by Saturday Sun reveal that the church was founded by late Prophet Oni Jolugba, an itinerant tailor who received the call of God in Ikare Akoko, Ondo State in the early 70s. With time, the church grew in leaps and bounds as Jolugba acclaimed to be a miracle working prophet became renowned with the calibre of worshippers and patronage such that the founder, a stark illiterate soon became an international guest in the UK and US where he has branches.
Due to the swift expansion, it was gathered, the founder had to relocate the headquarters of the church to his country home, Isanlu, headquarters of Yagba East local government area of Kogi State for easy administration.
It was further learnt that Obas Kayode, an orphan from Mopa, a neigbouring town, was adopted as a foster son and brought up by Jolugba.
Obas now in his 40s was said to be so submissive to the founder, that he ( Jolugba) trained him through school and he graduated as a pharmacist from the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife in 1997.
It was also learnt that after his internship and youth service, Obas settled down in Isanlu and started to operate a pharmacy shop which later became the largest drug store in the entire local government area.
He was also said to have added hospitality business into his area of interest by building a-50-bedroom hotel in the town.
Few years to his death, Jolugba, the founder of the church was said to have declared in one of their national conventions that Obas was his next successor and even went ahead to anoint and consecrate him as such in the presence of trustee members and the council of elders of the church. He was said to have passed on in July 2011 after which Obas became the substantive GO.
Trouble however began last year when two biological children of Jolugba; Tope and Michael allegedly decided to sell the headquarters of the church to another denomination. When the bid was thwarted by the church authority, a fracas broke out during which Obas and one Elijah Abimbola, the in-house prophet of the church were attacked.
This led to the intervention of the traditional ruler of the town and some leaders of the community who advised Jolugba’s successor to leave the church property for the founder’s children and find another place of worship.
As a result, Obas and some members of the church were said to have relocated to another building as their new worship centre. Tope and Michael were however alleged to have gone there on February 16 this year to set the house ablaze.
The following day, the surviving wife of the founder was said to have been locked up in her residence by unknown persons and it took the intervention of the police to rescue her. The crisis festered on May 19, 2014 when a faction of the church led by Tope and Michael allegedly invaded Obas hotel and set the premises ablaze along with about 10 vehicles belonging to guests.
The attackers were said to have proceeded to the pharmaceutical company of Obas, set it on fire before moving to his private residence where he escaped by the whiskers and set the house including three cars ablaze.
Speaking with Saturday Sun over the issue, Kayode Obas said the founder’s children have succeeded in ruining all he has laboured for in his life saying most of the property destroyed were acquired through bank loans.
“Their target was to sell the church headquarter to another denomination, we are not quarreling with them over Baba’s personal property, but the headquarters was collectively built by us. We even left the building for them as advised by elders, but they came to where we hired and burnt it down again, I have lost over N750 million including cars, buildings and other property.
“Some people in the town are inciting them against me, because they say I am not a native of the town and have amassed so much wealth, so they are hiding under this crisis to ruin and even kill me. The children 13
to their dad, but I showed them all the docusaid all the property I laboured for belonged ments of my business registration, no where was the name of Jolugba seen as business partner or the owner of the business.
“They said because I used Jolu- Kayo as my business name, the company is jointly owned by me and their father whereas I used that acronym to honour their dad who is also my foster dad. The member representing Yagba East constituency, Henry Ojuola was one of them, he even came to our church to incite members against us and he was the one who went to bail those arrested over the crisis, he is also boasting that no body will be prosecuted over the case.
When contacted on the crisis, the deputy general leader of the church who is based in Omuo Ekiti, Suprintendent A. A Adeyemo said “ these boys don’t understand anything about Jah Zion Church, when we were contributing money to build the church, the children were no where to be found, they were even attending a different church with their mum.”
Also speaking on the issue, Special Apostle Oluyori who is in charge of the church in Akure, Ondo State said “we have talked to these children they are adamant, children don’t inherit their father’s church, I am a co- founder of the church but since Baba handed over the church to Obas Kayode, we must follow him.”
The leader of the church in Kabba, Apostle Peter Jimoh in his own reaction said, “these children want to destroy the good name of their father. We are not interested in their father’s personal property, but the church belongs to us, and Jolugba. Before he died, he handed over the leadership of the church to Obas Kayode, and wherever he is going, that’s where we will go.”
When Saturday Sun contacted Hon. Henry Ojuola on the allegations against him, he denied having a hand in the crisis saying he was just a mediator.
“How can I incite people to burn his property? I truly went to their church to preach peace to them and not to incite anybody against him.
As for bailing of the suspects, yes I took their bail at the police station, because they are members of my constituency, even those recently arrested for the burning, I will go and give them N10, 000 for feeding. Until the law court pronounces them guilty, I can not do so, it is only natural that as their representative, any time anybody runs into trouble, they will call me, that is all”, he stated.
Efforts to get the reaction of Michael and Tope Jolugba as well as their mum proved abortive.
If you wish to know how this story develops, use
Know more about this news? Update the info!