The Anglican Diocese on the Niger has refuted allegations of high-handedness, harassment, conspiracy and character defamation levelled against the Bishop of the Diocese, Right Reverend Owen Nwokolo, by a former priest of the Diocese.
The Priest, Rev Canon LumenCristi Eboh, who announced his resignation at a press conference in Awka, on Monday, alleged that some forces in the church had caused his wife to leave him, and quartered her at an undisclosed place.
Accusing the Bishop Nwokolo of witch-hunt and land grabbing, Eboh who owns a charismatic congregation and prayer ministry known as God in Action Adoration Ministry, alleged that the bishop wanted to take his (Eboh’s) personal land where his ministry situates.
He cited harassment, instigation and conspiracy by the diocesan authorities of the Anglican Diocese on the Niger, especially from bishop, as reasons for his resignation.
Eboh noted that his involvement in charismatic activities, was at the centre of his conflict with Bishop Owen Nwokolo whom he accused of high handedness, intimidation and conspiratorial manipulations, leading to his decision to resign.
The priest who is a radio and televangelist also accused the bishop of insisting that the registered trustees of the adoration ministry be altered to include the bishop and his wife, a condition he resisted on the basis that God did not reveal the bishop to him as a vessel in the ministry.
He further said his refusal to include the Bishop as trustee as demanded and to hand over landed property of the adoration ministry to him, set him on collision course with the bishop.
Eboh claimed that the troubles instigated by the diocesan authorities soon began to affect his private life as a family man, as his wife was soon bought over by forces working within the diocese to become instrument of subversion and opposition against him.
“As I speak, my wife is living differently in an apartment paid for by someone who knows that she is someone’s wife,” Rev Eboh said.
He further said the diocesan authorities used stooges and agents to try to smear his character, including spreading rumours of sexual misconduct and voodooism against him.
But, in a reaction to the allegations, the Deputy Chancellor, Anglican Diocese on the Niger, Barr Ben Uzuegbu said the Diocese had borne series of petitions against the former priest and which he had been summoned to answer to but he failed to show up.
On the issue of the Bishop insisting to be included with his wife as trustees of his Ministry, Barr Uzuegbu said it was wrong of the priest to run such centres as a priest of the Diocese.
“In the first place, the constitution of the Diocese is firm on the fact that every priest with any call will conduct same in line with the provisions therein contained.
“There is no provision in the constitution for a priest to register a parallel Church whilst serving the Church.
“Therefore, this allegation is dead on arrival,” he said.
He continued; “On the issue of high-handedness, harassment, conspiracy and character defamation, this is not true.
“The Bishop on the Niger is besieged with lots of petitions against lumen Kristi Eboh.
“All the petitions bother on acts of impropriety and unwholesome conduct not expected of a priest.
“He was invited to attend to the serious allegations but he simply ran away.
“On sexual misconduct and voodoooism, again, several petitions were written by well-meaning female organisations and lawyers.
“One of the petitions was written by the law Zoomers, a firm of Legal Practitioners.
“Needless to say that again, he refused to make himself available to answer to the Petitions.
“I shall snap the petition for your perusal and guidance on how laughable his complaints are.”