As investigations continue into various allegations of sleaze in the past administration, information has emerged that the former leadership of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) may have presided over the sharing of the sum of N7billion allegedly provided by former President Goodluck Jonathan to solicit support of churches to vote for him in the March 28, 2015 elections.
Pentecostal pastor, Kallamu Musa Ali Dikwa, in an exclusive interview with Sunday Telegraph, said that CAN’s national and state executives, as well as various leaders, received various sums of money under the supervision of former CAN President, Pastor Ayo Oritsajafor and CAN General Secretary, Rev. (Dr.) Musa Asake, to campaign for the then President in the last election. “When we received the N7billion, you know CAN has five blocks. Each block in CAN collected N50million.
While National CAN executives got N30million each, some got N20million while women’s group was given N25million. All the state CAN officials collected N3million each. Zonal CAN chairmen got N5million each and former CAN President, Pastor Oritsejafor, went with the remaining part of the N7billion,” he said.
Besides the N7billion reportedly given for campaigns, Dikwa added: “There were Toyota Sports Utility Vehicles given to them. Let me tell you, there are lot of people that can come out to testify if not because of fear. They came church by church, to campaign for former President Jonathan as their candidate, just because they had collected N7billion for the campaigns.
But they didn’t exhaust the whole money on campaigns and the people that received the money were the former President of CAN and the General Secretary.” Giving reasons why he got N1million from CAN, he said the money was received as part of ‘out of court settlement’ in a suit against them.
“The matter is currently being investigated by the Independent Corrupt Practices Commission, which had informed me to play along with them.” He said shortly after the money was paid into his Ecobank account, a lien was placed on it and he never touched it as part of the investigators’ directive. “The reason why they bribed me with N1million was because I took them to court last year.
When I raised the issue of N7billion, the General Secretary of CAN, Dr. Asake, wrote a letter signed by him to the DSS to arrest and investigate me,” he said. Efforts to get reactions of Pastor Oritsajafor was unsuccessful as he neither picked his phone nor respond to our text message. The text message to Oritsejafor by 8:09am Saturday, after repeated calls reads: “Good morning His Eminence.
Hope you had a restful night sir. I have been calling you since yesterday, (Friday). One Pastor Dikwa alleged that you and Rev. Asake presided over the distribution of N7bn from Dr. Goodluck Jonathan for pastors to campaign for him in the churches last year. What is your position on this sir?” But Rev. Asake said Dikwa’s story is old and a figment of his imagination. He said neither he nor Oritsejafor presided over any sharing of N7billion because such money was never given to CAN leadership during their tenure. “He has been telling this story since last year.
He has spoken in Abuja and in Kaduna. The story is not straight forward because he (Dikwa) is attempting to dribble all Nigerians. The incident allegedly happened before the elections. Tell me, if it was true, would the government, which is arresting all indicted persons, not have arrested us? “On one occasion, when he brought up this issue, he was asked to produce evidence; he said he had no documents.
He even wrote a letter of apology to us, but now he has started going the old path. I am not afraid of probe. If EFCC invites me over this matter, I am willing to go there,” Asake, CAN General Secretary said. Current CAN President, Rev. Supo Ayokunle, who could not pick his call at about 13:25hrs, because his aide said “Baba is preaching,” later replied to our correspondent’s text message, saying, “Call the people concerned. I don’t have anything to do with it.”