It has now been revealed that the last straw that drew the attention of the UK government to Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries was the report of a missing £150,000 that was handled with levity.
General Overseer of the megachurch, Pastor Daniel Olukoya, last weekend admitted that the money is missing and revealed that his former employee, who is a pastor, stole the church’s funds in the United Kingdom, UK.
In a statement signed by the overseer’s media aide, Collins Edomaruse, he said an employee paid the £150,000 Charity’s fund into his personal account and conspired with external auditors to shield the income from discovery. He also explained that at no time did the church try to sweep any issue around the missing sum under the carpet.
“Fortunately, all the people that took money illegally are still alive. The genesis of this allegation is that the lease of one of our branches in London contained a clause which stipulated that any party who broke the lease for any reason before its expiration would pay a penalty of £150,000 to the other party.
“It happened that the owner of the property broke the lease and sold the property to a third party which necessitated the church relocating from the building.
“The property owners honoured their obligation and paid the penalty sum of £150,000 which the pastor of that branch somehow found a way of paying into his personal account without informing the headquarters and conspired with the external auditors to shield that income from discovery. It was much later that a member of that branch brought to the attention of headquarters that such amount of money had been received by the pastor,” he added.
He further explained that the church’s headquarters immediately set up a panel of investigation to uncover the fraud and to give a fair hearing to the pastor concerned.
According to the statement, the pastor attended the sitting of the panel and unequivocally admitted he stole the fund.
The statement added that the General Overseer issued the pastor an ultimatum in writing to pay back the money within 48 hours whereupon he promised to re-mortgage his house in London to comply.