National Christian Elders Forum, (NCEF) has accused the leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) of corruption and abuse of office.
In a memo reportedly obtained by Vanguard, NCEF alleged that a CAN delegation led by Samson Ayokunle, its president, collected “transportation money” from President Muhammadu Buhari, when they paid him a visit in November.
The NCEF said while CAN officials said they collected N25 million, sources claimed they received up to N40 million from the presidency.
The forum recommended punishment for those involved.
In the memo, titled ‘NCEF Protests: Is NEC of CAN Guilty of Negligence?’, signed by Solomon Asemota, on behalf of some members, the NCEF called the national executive council (NEC) of CAN to immediately convene an emergency meeting to investigate the issues raised.
“On the 10th of November, 2017, a delegation of CAN, led by the President of CAN, Rev. Dr. Ayokunle, met with President Muhammadu Buhari and, after the visit, collected ‘transportation’ money,” the memo read.
“While informed sources claim it was N40 million, CAN officials insist it was N25 million and it was alleged to have been shared by somebody who is not an official of the national secretariat of CAN.
“NCEF insists on proper investigation of how the money was shared and how much each person received. In addition, NCEF insists on proper sanction of every Christian leader that took part in sharing money from President Buhari.
“It is unethical and very insensitive for Christian leaders to collect money from the man every Christian is aware has compromised security to the detriment of the church.”
The group also called on its NEC to investigate alleged “high-handedness” of Ayokunle, while calling for his immediate suspension until he is cleared of all the allegations.
The forum demanded a probe into vehicles purchased at “questionable prices”.
They urged the NEC to ensure that the investigation looks into the activities of other officials of CAN on “whose heads allegations of wrongdoing and misconduct hang”.
“In all, N43 million was spent to purchase four-second hand vehicles in Cotonou,” the statement read.
“This allegation is too big to be swept under the carpet. (This vehicle is parked at the National Christian Centre, Abuja).
“The auditor presented a financial report to CAN that did not include the N43 million spent on vehicles in Cotonou. Where did N43 million disappear to?”.
The Christian elders argued that it had the statutory right to “make its position public to all Nigerian Christians and alert them that, if Christianity is destroyed in Nigeria or Christians continue to get slaughtered, the present NEC of CAN should be held responsible.”
Reacting to the claims, Ayokunle described the allegations as “a catalogue of lies” designed to smear his reputation.