Contrary to the tale spreading like wild harmanttan fire, founder of Synagogue Church of All Nation (SCOAN), Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, simply addressed as T.B Joshua, has denied acquiring a luxury aircraft worth $60 million. He added that it’s a baseless rumour. He therefore enjoined the public to disregard the tale as there is no iota of truth in it.
Speaking with ENCOMIUM Weekly on Monday, September 21, 2015, via one of his media aides, Mr. Ezekiel, the humble preacher expressed disappointment in those sponsoring the tale, labeling them as rumour mongers.
“My brother, there is no truth about it. Nothing like that at all. Please, disregard it. Some people just like peddling unnecessary rumour.”
Despite the denial, tale bearers insisted that Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua picked the brand-new Gulfstream G550 aircraft in 2014 before the September 12, 2014 tragedy which sent about 116 people to the great beyond. Registered as Synagogue of Nations, the jet was reportedly purchased using the Bank of Utah trustee as front. And it reportedly cost him about $60m.
Pastor TB Joshua’s purported jet is the most expensive of the four owned by Nigerian pastors. Pastor David Oyedepo (Bombardier Challenger 604), Pastor Enoch Adeboye (Gulfstream GIV), and Ayo Oritsejafor (Bombardier Challenger 601).
However, Pastor Ortsejafor’s jet was seized in South Africa allegedly for money-laundering last year which generated a lot of mixed reactions home and abroad, especially within the political class. The new Nigerian government is said to be investigating the circumstances of that case, which involved federal funds.
TB Joshua’s jet reportedly left the Murtala Muhammed International Airport in Lagos on a whirlwind tour of South America, departing north from there to Kentucky in the United States.
The jet, which has US registration number N131LK, was built in 2010. It was delivered to its first user in 2013, before T.B Joshua allegedly bought it in 2014.
ENCOMIUM Weekly also learnt that the jet made a voyage to Nigeria in December 2013, as the Bank of Utah was apparently pitching it to Pastor TB Joshua. The pastor reportedly asked to see it and bless it before finally taking delivery.
It could cost up to $3 million to maintain the jet annually, depending on how heavily it is used.
Sources at the church reportedly claimed that Pastor Joshua’s jet was paid for by at least eight African heads of State in 2014. It was first kept in Israel before the tragic church collapse on September 12, 2014, in which 116 persons, mostly South Africans, were killed.
We gathered that his humanitarian gesture and extensive travelling across the globe alongside the constant delay and cancelling of flights which affect his travelling plans necessitated the move for the jet.
But when ENCOMIUM Weekly contacted the man of God, via his media aide, Mr. Ezekiel, he denied it all.
Gulfstream G550 costs approximately $55 million, which is just as expensive as the average large jet.
This aircraft seats eight passengers in a typical layout. In tighter quarters, it can accommodate up to 18 passengers.
The G550 uses roughly $5.48 worth of fuel per nautical mile flown (assuming $6 per gallon of jet fuel). On a per-seat basis, this translates to being just as cost-efficient as the average large private jet.
A maximum range of 6,750 nautical miles (equal to 7,763 miles) makes this aircraft most appropriate for medium-to-long international flights.
The service ceiling (max cruise altitude) of 51,000 feet is extremely high for this type of aircraft.
This Gulfstream aircraft normally cruises at a speed of 500 knots, equivalent to 575 mph. If time is of the essence, it can safely fly as fast as Mach 0.89.
The LRC (long-range cruise) speed at which this aircraft attains its maximum range is 459 knots (528 mph), 5.9% slower than similar models.
A required take-off field length of 5,910 ft is only slightly longer than average for an airplane; most airports can accommodate the G550.
With the ability to climb 4,000 feet per minute, it can achieve max cruise altitude in as little as 13 minutes once airborne.