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I am not party to $9.3m deal- Oritsejafor

Ayo-Oritsejafor

Ayo-Oritsejafor

The President of the Christian Association of
Nigeria, ( CAN) Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor has said he
knew nothing about the controversial $9.3m
smuggled into South Africa by two Nigerians and
an Israeli, using his private jet.
Oritsejafor broke his silence during the National
Executive Council meeting of CAN on Monday at
the National Christian Centre, Abuja.
The CAN leader said there had been attempts in
the media to link him with the incident by
mischievous elements, adding that he had kept
quiet all the while, because he needed to explain
his position to the church which is his primary
constituency.
Oritsekafor, in his address declared that he was
never a party to the movement of the $9.3m from
Nigeria to South Africa to purchase arms and
ammunition.
“I want to assure you that I will not do anything to
tarnish the image of Jesus Christ or compromise
the divine standard of the church.
“As you are all aware, the media has been
awashed in the past few days about an
unfortunate incident involving the movement of
funds from Nigeria to South Africa. In the
unfortunate news reports, attempts have been
made to link me directly with the transaction.
“So far I have refrained from making any direct
public response pending the time that I would
have brief the leaders if the church and explain
my position on the issues to them.
“I believe that the primary institution that I owe
any explanation to is the church.”
Oritsejafor added: “At the risk of being seen to be
defending myself, I wish to confirm to the
distinguished leaders of the church that the
Bombardier Challenger 601 aircraft in question is
mine. The aircraft was presented to me as a gift
by members of our congregation and ministry
partners worldwide at my 40th anniversary of my
call into the ministry.
“May I be permitted to stress that the aircraft was
not given to me by the President of Nigeria,
neither was it a settlement for any political favour
or patronage.
“With the benefit of hindsight, the President of
the country was a guest in our church during the
anniversary celebration when the jet was
presented to me.”
The CAN leader who explained that President
Jonathan has nothing to do with the gift of the
aircraft challenged those making the allegation t
come out to show proof so that the matter can be
put to rest once and for all.
Oritsejafor who also explained the circumstances
that led to the involvement of his aircraft, said “in
order to ameliorate the cost of maintenance of
the aircraft, I sought and got permit to allow the
aircraft fly in and out of Nigeria.”
“Based on this, I leased the aircraft on August 2,
2014 to a company to run it. It was the leasee that
entered into an agreement with the people who
carried out the transfer of funds. Having leased
the aircraft to the Green Coast Produce Company
Limited, any transaction undertaken with the
aircraft can no longer be attached to me.
“Inasmuch as I am shocked and distressed by the
incident, I wish to appeal to Christians in Nigeria
to remember that a war has been waged against
the Nigerian church. This war is being fought on
many fronts and this unfortunate incident is
another dimension in the assault against the
church.
“It is clear that those who manipulated this
conspiracy desire to create a schism in the
church.”
According to him, “the media hype and the
deliberate distortion of information that followed
it confirmed that forces that desperately desire to
cause division and disunity in the church are at
work. Even the devil knows that a house that is
divided cannot stand.
“As Christians, we need unity in the church now
more than ever. We are witnessing inhuman
attacks by religious extremists against Christians
in the northern part of the country, while
christian infrastructure is being destroyed in
hundreds.
“If we permit the enemy divide us, our chances of
corporate survival shall be severely threatened.
“Distinguished leaders of the church, please
permit me to state clearly before God and before
all of you here present today, that I am not a
party to the movement of $9.3m from Nigeria to
South Africa to purchase arms and ammunition. I
am not part of the deal. I know nothing about it.”
The CAN President commended the Catholic
Church for its support, particularly in refuting a
distorted news item by mischievous elements in
the media.
He appealed to heads of blocks that constitute
CAN and head of denominations and Christian
leaders at different levels and spheres of
influence to use their good offices to caution and
control their subordinates and followers from
making public statements that will further
polarise the church and strengthen the arms of
the enemies of the church.
Quoting Matthew Chapter 18 verses 15 to 20,
Oritsejafor said, “If I offend you or you offend
me, instead of talking to media, let us talk to each
other within the house of God.”

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