UNWANTED BRAND?: BISHOP OYEDEPO BARRED FROM UK
Founder and Head of Living Faith Church, Bishop David Oyedepo has been barred from entering the UK by the British Home Office following the commencement of investigations into the affairs of his church by the UK Charities Commission.
Bishop Oyedepo, popularly known as Papa by his followers, has been under investigation by the Charities Commission since 2012. Investigators are looking into the activities of his Living Faith Church, also known as Winners Chapel and the way it gets money from parishioners.
Preliminary enquiries have accused the UK branch of Winners Chapel, run by Bishop Oyedepo’s son, of unfairly exploiting supporters. As a result of the investigation, the Home Office has instructed the British High Commission in Abuja to issue what is known as an Airline Alert, which bars any carrier from bringing him into the UK.
One source at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport in Lagos, said that the barring of Bishop Oyedepo, was communicated to the airlines on Saturday, 9 August, 2014. According to the contents of the alert, any airline that flouts the ban and transports Bishop Oyedepo to the UK, is liable to a fine of £2,000.
Bishop Oyedepo holds a UK C visa that allows him entry into the country for 10 years, so ordinarily would not have any problem travelling at will. He also owns four private jets, so it is not yet clear what will happen if he decide to travel in using his own transport.
Authorities in the UK are concerned about the manner in which Bishop Oyedepo’s church raises money from unsuspecting, naive and gullible members of the public. According to preliminary findings, Bishop Oyedepo’s church ‘received £16.7m in donations from followers who were told that God would give them riches in return.
Charity Commission officials also found out that his followers are ferried in double-decker shuttle buses to the church, handed slips inviting them to make debit card payments. They are even told obeying the ministry’s teachings will make them immune from illness and many of them oblige.
POSER: Do you think this embarrassment is fair to the man of God. Should he not be presumed innocent even while investigations are going on?. Let us have your take please