By Chidi Nkwopara
OWERRI—Three priests (names withheld) have been summarily dismissed by the Bishop of the Diocese of Egbu, Anglican Communion, Professor Emmanuel U. Iheagwam.
The Bishop disclosed this in his presidential address during the diocese’s third session of the 5th Synod, held at Emmanuel Anglican Church, Umualum, Nekede, Owerri West local council area of Imo State.
Recalling that two of the priests had absconded and were consequently dismissed, the Bishop also told the stunned audience that another one, from Ishiuzo, Egbu, had joined the ranks of dismissed clerics.
“As my chaplain and the priest in-charge of the Diocesan Farm, the priest defrauded the diocese of huge sums of money, part of which was recovered from him,” Iheagwam fumed.
According to the Bishop, “as priest in-charge of Saint Matthew’s Church, Obokwe, he was accused of mismanagement of human and material resources and was consequently suspended from office for six months.
“He was recalled in January 2009. Within the period of his reinstatement, he perfected his plans to abscond and has absconded. He is, therefore, dismissed as a priest in and of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion”.
Taking a critical look at the happenings in the state, Iheagwam commended Governor Ikedi Ohakim for returning some secondary schools to their original owners.
“Egbu Girls’ Secondary School has been returned to us and we have taken possession of it. Indeed, the level of infrastructural decay is enormous,” Iheagwam said.
He, however, noted that for the full realization of the purpose of the return of the secondary schools to the mission, government should also return the primary schools, arguing that the training and moulding of character of children begins at that level.