UK government takes over Mountain of Fire and Miracles International
The same issue that has sent great panic into the minds of Nigerian churches has raised its head in faraway London as, the United Kingdom has appointed an interim manager for, Mountain of Fire & Miracles, a religious body of Nigerian origin.
According to guardian.ng, the interim manager will have the power to review the charity’s financial and governance processes of the north London-based Mountain of Fire and Miracles International and inspect a number of its branches and their handling of serious incidents.
A statement from the Charity Commission says, “The interim manager assumes these duties at the exclusion of the charity’s trustees; the trustees retain control over matters relating to religious activities,”
The appointment of the manager for Mountain of Fire and Miracles International came after an investigation The UK’s Charity Commission said it began the investigation on March 27, 2018. The Commission said it was concerned about the “apparent failures” of MFM International’s administration and management that allowed for huge losses to occur and “continued to occur over a prolonged period.”
It also condemned, among other infractions, the failure of the MFM International’s trustees to report the incidents of financial infractions to the police.
“The charity has repeatedly failed to submit returns and financial information to the Commission on time and its accounts for 2014 and 2015 were qualified by its auditors,” Charity Commission said in a statement in March 2018.
“The Commission has been in active engagement with the trustees of the charity since September 2017 having been made aware of potentially significant losses to the charity.”
MFM International was not the first Nigerian-owned charity for which the UK government would appoint an interim manager. The Charity Commission appointed Rod Weston of Mazars LLP, on 6 August 2014 to take over the management and administration of the Christ Embassy UK, founded by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, to the exclusion of trustees.
The Christ Embassy’s trustees were accused of several infractions including failure to “exercise reasonable care and skill in the execution of their roles and as a result exposed the charity to the risk and financial loss” and failure to “comply with planning law and regulations and adhere to enforcement notices, causing the charity substantial financial loss.”