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16.06.2004 General News

Man of God accused of sexual abuse & money laundering

By Chronicle

A couple of days after reporting on the flexing of muscles at the Winners Church, Ghana, involving its president, Bishop David Oyedepo, The Chronicle can report that another Nigerian Pastor, a man of God, is in the limelight again. This time, it is a money laundering and sexual abuse case.

The man at the center of the controversy is Rev. Dr. Abraham F. Aiyelabowo, a former head pastor of the Winners Chapel, who was dismissed from the church for money laundering, but went and formed the Triumphant Global Ministries Incorporated at North Kaneshie. He has been accused by some female members of the church of indecent behaviour and sexual harassment.

His accusers allege that Rev. Aiyelabowo, during deliverance services, which usually ran late into the night, fumbled with the private parts of unsuspecting ladies and those who concurred, ended up in bed with the “Man of God.”

It was learnt that the pastor's wife, Pastor (Mrs.) Udak Aiyelabowo, apparently fed-up with her husband's behaviour and the persistent complaints of alleged victims, let the cat out of the bag by calling one of the senior pastors of the church to her office and informed him about the reports she had received, which she claimed had been coroborrated by another pastor.

“The wife of the Rev. called me to her office and told me that one pastor in charge of the Bible School was investigating daddy, (referring to Rev. Aiyelabowo) on sexual abuses which occur during deliverances,” it was disclosed.

The source added that, for the one and half years of the establishment of the church, Rev. Aiyelabowo had refused to register the church's staff with the Social Security and National Insurance Trust (SSNIT), despite numerous requests made to him on this ground, among others.

“He has also resisted every attempt by the staff to pay income taxes on their behalf. He takes home ¢12 million himself as his monthly salary, but does not pay income tax,” the paper learnt

On the allegation of money laundering, it was alleged that Rev. Aiyelabowo transferred illegal money to an unregistered church in Uyo, Nigeria. Monies transferred so far allegedly run into several hundred million dollars without proper bank transfer procedures.

In his attempt to cover up his act, Rev. Aiyelabowo is alleged to have issued death threats to senior pastors of the church, who had become apprehensive of his sexual abuses.

The paper was told that the Director of Missions and Associate Pastor, Mr. Lawrence Asomaning, was one of the few to have received one of such death threats from the pastor.

In an instance, Rev. Aiyelabowo was alleged to have influenced some members of the Bujumbura branch of the church to ambush Pastor Asomaning, who was returning from Takoradi.

It is said, but for the timely tipoff of a Good Samaritan who called him on his cell-phone to warn him about the plan, Rev. Aiyelabowo and his cronies would have succeeded.

The Tesano and Kaneshie police commands confirmed that there had been various allegations against the pastor, including sexual abuse, harassment and money laundering.

The crime officer at the Kaneshie police station, Mr. Frank Adufati, who was tight-lipped on their findings so far, referred this reporter to the court, saying, “I have nothing to tell you. We shall arraign the man before court. You can go there and hear things for yourself. I would not tell you anything.”

However, The Chronicle investigation has established that, a high-ranking police officer, last Friday interfered with the process of arraigning Rev. Dr. Aiyelabowo before court, as he called for the return of the docket to his office, while witnesses, including these reporters, spent several hours at the court premises without being informed that the case would not be heard.

Rev. Aiyelabowo declined to comment on the issue when contacted by the paper, on the five occasions that he was contacted.

“God bless you” was all he uttered when informed about The Chronicle's investigations.

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