By Sam Eyoboka, Emman Ovuakpporie & Johnbosco Agbakwuru
LAGOS — THE recent changes announced by the General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, Pastor Enoch Adeboye, remains and can only be reversed by the church’s Governing Council.
This came as members of the House of Representatives, yesterday, resolved to probe the Financial Reporting Council of Nigeria, FRCN, over alleged tilted activities of the body.
According to the constitution of the church, the highest organ of the church consists of Pastor Adeboye as chairman with 13 other very senior pastors, including Pastor J. H. Abiona, Deputy General Overseer; Pastor J. A. O. Akindele, Assistant General Overseer; Pastor D. A. Ilori, Assistant General Overseer and Pastor M.O. Ojo, Assistant General Overseer.
Others include Pastor A. A. Aderibigbe, Assistant General Overseer; Pastor P. O. Ojo, Assistant General Overseer; Pastor D. O. Oluwalogbon, National Elder; Pastor C. O. Osho, National Assistant Elder; Pastor D. G. Kuo, Regional Evangelist; Pastor E. A. Odeyemi, SATGO Central Africa; Pastor E.O. Daramola, SATGO South Africa II; Pastor G. Lawal, SATGO/PIC Region 12 and Pastor J. A. Obayemi, who was recently appointed country overseer of the church.
Vanguard gathered, yesterday, that the recent sack of the Executive Secretary/CEO of FRCN, Mr. Jim Obazee, pending a detailed review, extensive consultation with stakeholders and reconstitution of the board of the council, may not affect the decision of Pastor Adeboye to appoint a national overseer for the church.
Sources close to the church told our reporter that the status quo will remain until the governing council decides otherwise, maintaining that no other person in the church can altar the stated changes that had been announced by the General Overseer.
At press time, it was not clear if Pastor Joseph Obayemi has received an official schedule of duties.
A source, who preferred to remain anonymous, said there was an office already created for the Country Overseer but declined to confirm if the new man actually resumed duties in the office.
According to the close source, in view of the 40-day fasting period which began yesterday, the changes may take some while to be effected, stating however, that Pastor Adeboye remains the General Overseer of the church with presence in over 193 nations.
Reps probes FRCN
Meanwhile, the House, at plenary, mandated its committees on Public Accounts, Finance and Delegated Legislations to conduct a fact-finding public hearing and report back within four weeks.
This was sequel to a motion by Mr Leo Ogor (PDP, Isoko Federal Constituency), in which he said: “The objective of the council, among others, is to protect investors and ensure good corporate governance practices in the public and private sectors of the Nigerian economy.”
The Minority Leader noted that “Section 73 of the FRCN Act grants the council powers to make regulations which must be in consonance with the Act.”
He expressed concern that Governance Codes formulated by the council, as they relate to heads of non-profit making organisations, was a clear usurpation of the powers of the National Assembly as stipulated in Section 4 of the Constitution.
He said: “The National Assembly has not in anyway approved the corporate governance code as it did with the building code. Codes of corporate governance must be in conformity with international best practices.”
Ogor told journalists after plenary that his fear for urging a probe into the matter was due to his worry that “an overzealous chief executive officer of a regulatory body can misinterpret or misapply the provisions of the code as can be clearly seen in the case of the FRCN.
“If the regulation borders on the transparency of their accounting process, nobody will complain. If it deals with financial due process or probity, nobody will complain, but when you step outside the law and the core function of the council, then there’s a problem.”
Contributing to the debate, Mr Kingsley Chinda (PDP, Rivers) stressed the need for the House to probe the controversy to serve as a wake-up call to other government agencies, which over-reach themselves in regulating public affairs without taking cognisance of the law setting them up.