Saturday, 16 June 2018

$38,000 Alleged Scam: Our Side Of The Story - Lord's Chosen Breaks Silence On Its Pastor

The accused
The Lord’s Chosen Charismatic Revival Church has disowned one of its pastors identified as Benedict Mgdire over allegations of $38,000 fraud.
A member of the church, Mr. Ken Chibueze Onu, had alleged that Mgdire, who presided over the church’s branch in Georgia, United States of America (USA), defrauded him of $38,000 in a business deal.
This denial followed a report published by New Telegraph on the business transaction between Onu and Mgdire and how the deal fell through.
In the said publication, Onu revealed all the attempts he made to get the General Overseer (GO) of the church, Lazarus Mouka, and other pastors in the church to prevail on Mgdire to refund his money. He explained that the money in question was borrowed from a bank.
Mgdire was supposed to ship in cars, but allegedly never did. Onu’s son, who used to attend Lord’s Chosen School was kicked out and stopped from sitting for his examination because his father couldn’t meet up with his fees.
According to Onu, that was the final blow that broke the Camel’s back.
In the course of writing the story, the reporter called Mouka to hear his own side of the story after allegations made against him and the church by Onu. But Mouka, presently, is insisting that he was not the person the reporter spoke with.
The church’s Public Relations Officer, Pastor Louis Chidi, while stressing that the report caused embarrassment to the church, added that Mgdire and Onu had settled their problem.
Chidi presented the said agreement signed by both parties.
He added: “Some of the money had been paid to Onu. We don’t understand why he went to the media to say something else. I know the case was settled on 10th while the story came out on 13th.”
According to him, Onu never went to Muoka to discuss his ordeal with Mgdire. “But he met me. I told him that he should be patient that I have to confirm from the Head of Foreign Mission. This was almost two years ago. I advised him to go to Head of Foreign Mission to complain,” Chidi recollected.
Chidi explained that the church was large and had many pastors both in Nigeria and overseas, thus, it was not every pastor that one could recollect easily.
He added: “When Onu came to me, I told him there was a process of doing things, especially when it involves foreign mission.”
Chidi, who insisted that Mouka’s name and that of his wife shouldn’t have been mentioned in the publication, said that if Onu had met with the GO, the matter would have been settled amicably.
He explained that after he told Onu that there was a process to get issues done, he begged him to give him time to make enquiries concerning the matter. Onu allegedly accepted and left.

“After a long time, Onu came to me and said he wanted to see pastor. I told him that if he wanted to see pastor on foreign issue, he should see the foreign desk head. He left, and I didn’t hear from him until recently when a journalist from New Telegraph Newspaper, sent me a text.

"The reporter didn’t mention the names of the two men involved in matter. While responding to his text, I told him that we knew what we were preaching and that such a thing couldn’t happen.
"Nevertheless, if he wanted to go to press he should check his facts very well. I was in Kano that day and couldn’t pick calls. When he sent another message after I replied the first one, he wrote the names of the people involved and I didn’t know the name of the other person except brother Onu.

“I further replied that I would reply him if he could give me the names and contacts of the parties. I also told him that I would need time to respond because it was an issue that happened in foreign land. I didn’t hear from him again until the story was published. It was a business deal and both men had been transacting with each other for years and the church was not aware of it until the business went sour,” Chidi recounted.
The PRO revealed that while doing his findings, he called the head of foreign mission, who told him that he had made inquiries. He added that when Onu wrote a letter against Mgdire, the church didn’t waste time in asking Mgdire to step aside.
He said: “The brother, who was accused of defrauding Onu, got angry, saying that he was not called to state his own side of the story, hence he was no longer a member of the church. He left the church.”
Speaking on the issue, Mouka said: “A story was published about someone who had business dealing with a Lord Chosen pastor in the U.S. They went to the police. The person who is involved in the business brought an agreement showing that they had already settled the matter. It was not me that spoke with the reporter. It was not fair to drag my name into the matter. When you hear a negative story about us, let us know.”
Also further reacting to the matter, Onu said that Mouka and the church were aware of the issue between him and Mgdire and didn’t do anything to intervene or help.
He fumed: “Even the church’s PRO can confirm the number of times I visited the church concerning this matter. The Director of Foreign Mission, Pastor Ifeanyi, told Chidi that he shouldn’t allow me to see the GO. He said that the matter was something he could handle. And for years, he didn’t do anything about it. I later called the GO and spoke with him on the phone for over 48 minutes.

"The MTN call log is there for us to find out if I’m lying. I know MTN Telecommunications Company will be able to make available our conversation on the matter. If the GO had intervened earlier, the issue wouldn’t have reached this level. The GO is supposed to be the father of every member of the church, but he didn’t act well on my case. The GO told me that God had already taken steps in the case.

“I remember as well that Chidi told me the issue of a minister of church duping me $38,000, happened because there was a lesson God wanted me to learn. I asked what? For my son to be sent out from the church school because I was not able to pay his school fees? Is that what God wanted me to learn from the incident?

"They didn’t treat my matter well. It was like every one of them was against me. If they want to go to court because I told the world the way they treated me after my many years of commitment and sacrifices to the church, let them go, I’m ready for them.

"If GO is denying I never spoke with him concerning the issue, there is also a call log. I will get it, and the GO’s phone number, which I gave the reporter. That phone number is his personal number. I have spoken with him on that line several times.”
Source: New Telegraph

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