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CAC crisis worsens: Factions still on war path

The Court of Appeal sitting in new Adeoyo Hospital Road in Ibadan, Oyo State, has struck out the appeal of the immediate past factional President of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Pastor Elijah Howar Oluseye, the Oyo State Chairman of Christians Association of Nigeria, CAN, Pastor Johnson Ayo Olabisi and two others over forgery mess.

While delivering the ruling, Justice A.A.B. Gumel said, “Motion dated and filed on 27/5/14, having been withdrawn, is struck out.”

Other Justices that sat with Justice Gumel (who is a presiding Justice) included Justice O. Daniel-Kalio and Justice N. Okoronkwo.

The appellants counsel, Barr Oluwagbemiga Olatunji had told the court that they have an application dated and filed on 27/5/14, saying it is for an order to set aside the order striking out this appeal on May 7, 2014, that struck out the appeal number CA/I/429/2013 and restoration of the same appeal.

It would be recalled that Pastor Oluseye and three other accused persons are currently facing nine count criminal charge of conspiracy, forgery and obtaining Certificates of incorporation of CAC dated October 21, 1991 and December 7, 1995, under false pretence at the Federal High Court, Ibadan Oyo State.

During the proceedings, the prosecution counsel closed his case after calling five witnesses while the defence counsel filed application for no case submission.

The presiding Judge, Justice Abimbola Adejumo-Obaseki, while delivering ruling said that the four accused persons had case to answer on seven out of nine count charge and thereby called them to open their defence. Instead of opening their defence, the accused filed an appeal against the ruling before an Ibadan Court of Appeal.

Meanwhile, there seems to be no end in sight to the 24-year-old crisis within the Christ Apostolic Church Worldwide as one of the feuding factions refused to recognise the reconciliation committee set up to broker peace.

This came as one of the factions in the crisis-ridden church, extended an olive branch to its opponent, saying it would sacrifice ‘everything’ for peace to return to the church.

The faction, led by Pastor Gabriel Lagunju, reportedly said this recently at its annual pastors’ conference held at the CAC, Alasepe, Ikire.

This faction and the General Executive Council have been at loggerheads over the control of the church.

Lagunju said: “We are ready to sacrifice everything and every position. But let us stress that we want seamless unification that would give equal recognition to all.”

However, he noted that given the magnitude of the crisis in the church, it would be complete falsehood for the other side to claim that there is no crisis, saying “it is what everybody can see.”

As part of efforts it had made to achieve this, the council had inaugurated a 20-member peace committee about three years ago to prepare the ground towards the reunification of the church.

He said: “The 20-member peace committee eventually teamed up in May 2013, with a neutral group, the CAC Peace and Reunification Group, composed of pastors, elders and youths from the various factions of the mission, who have the same vision.”

While giving the report of a peace and unity committee jointly set up by both sides, Pastor Jacob Akinola explained that in the past, the Supreme Council had made several attempts that could bring lasting peace to the mission, but the GEC seemed not prepared for any reconciliation.

He said the other faction had shunned the unity prayer conference twice in July and said they would not recognise the reconciliation team.

-FEMI OYEWALE

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