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Published On: Tue, Sep 23rd, 2014

Akume slams Oritsejafor over alleged $9.3m cash seizure

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National President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Pastor Ayo OritsejaforBy Ikechukwu Okaforadi

The Senate Minority Leader, George Akume, on Monday took a swipe at the President of Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Ayo Oritsejafor, over the $9.3 billion recently found in his private jet, saying it has destroyed the credibility of the respected religious organisation.

In a statement he issued, Akume said “I wish to express my utmost dismay and anger over how hard Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor, the President of CAN is working to destroy the little credibility that is left of this once glorious organization”.

“Still trending a clearly criminal, immoral and unethical act is being white washed with religious grandstanding”, the statement said.

He called on those who profess the Christian faith to speak out against what he described as brazen attempts to hijack the religion and use it for purposes that are clearly against the tenets of the teachings of Jesus Christ.

Akume, recalled that on the 5th September 2014 a jet owned by Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor was caught in South Africa stashed with United States Dollars to the tune of 9.3 million undeclared cash, purportedly meant for the purchase of arms through black market.

He pointed out that the circumstances surrounding the incident suggest that those ferrying the money did it in open breach of Nigerian and international laws, hence the South Africa government has already established a prima facie case of criminality involved in the questionable misadventure.

He noted that all the arguments being adduced by the CAN President are unsustainable because he has liability at several levels.

“One, the vessel used for criminal activity belongs to him. Secondly, he commercially leased the vessel to Eagle Air, which is a company he holds an interest in and which in turn, further leased same to the company that converted it to commercial use with his full knowledge and approval.

“The chain of ethical liability is unbroken. How will the pastor explain his involvement with people engaged in the murky waters of international arms trafficking?”, the statement said.

He therefore advised the CAN President to sell his controversial jet and use the funds to reconstruct or rehabilitate Churches destroyed by Boko Haram in the northeast of Nigeria, arguing that it has become clear that the Pastor no longer needs the plane for pastoral duties.

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