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Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges - Religion - Nairaland

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Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges by buckeye(m): 11:17pm On Mar 22, 2009
Flambouyant Nigerian pastor and apparently Ukraine’s most prominent Pentecostal leader, Sunday Adelaja, has been indicted on fraud charges. Pastor Adelaja is the senior pastor of the largest church in the Ukraine, "The Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations, Kiev."

The Ukrainian Interior Ministry has accused him of defrauding citizens of money, the ministry’s Department for Media Liaison and International Activity said. Sunday Champion gathered that the amount is over $100m.

"The investigator has brought charges against Nigerian citizen Sunday Adelaja, who permanently resides in Ukraine and is a senior pastor at the Embassy of God church. The charges were brought under Part 4, Article 190 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine (the embezzlement of funds in very large amounts via fraud)," the ministry said.

Last month, several church members went to authorities saying they were unable to recover the money they invested, which left many of them bankrupt. Police later arrested one of King’s Capital leaders, Aleksandr Bandurchenko, on suspicion of fraud.

Speculation about Adelaja’s involvement with King’s Capital grew after reports surfaced that he was part of a bank in Nigeria known as GS Microfinance Bank Limited. Some speculated that Adelaja, a native of Nigeria, invested funds from King’s Capital in the African bank and planned to leave the country.

Adelaja, however, said those accusations are unfounded. He said he has never been involved with King’s Capital but denied that it is a Ponzi scheme, which uses later investments to pay dividends to earlier investors.

He said King’s Capital was a legitimate business that failed under the pressure of the global financial crisis. He said because the company poured most of the investment capital into real estate, which decreased in value, it has been unable to pay investors.

"When the economic crisis came, all the real estate is no more selling. The land is enough to pay back the money owed. ,  The problem is ,  everything is stopped in the country--nothing is selling now in Ukraine,’’ he said.

Adelaja said Interior Affairs Minister Yurii Lutsenko accused the church of involvement because he wants to undermine the evangelical movement in Ukraine. With several thousand members across the nation, God’s Embassy is one of the most influential congregations in Ukraine.

"(Lutsenko) is in a very bad situation," Adelaja said. "He’s got to prove now that (King’s Capital) is a pyramid scheme, but he cannot."

Adelaja said he never encouraged his church members to invest in the company and cautioned them to invest in businesses that offer insurance. "Of course ,  if you invest with insurance you get less percentage," he said. "What happened was many people said they didn’t need insurance because the (King’s Capital leaders) were Christians."

He acknowledged being affiliated with GS Microfinance, but said he invested his name and influence in the bank, not millions of dollars. He said GS Microfinance was formed to give small loans to poor Nigerians as a way of lifting them out of poverty. "It’s not about what you can get, but the vision of the program is to elevate and get as many people out of poverty as possible," Adelaja said. "That is one of my lifetime passions ,  because I grew up in poverty."

Although Adelaja has repeatedly denied any involvement in King’s Capital, which has not officially been deemed a fraudulent business, Pentecostal and charismatic leaders across Ukraine are calling on him to repent, saying they heard him encourage church members to invest in the company on several occasions.

"He was not a president of this company, but he was the No. 1 spiritual leader, and he told them what they have to do," said Bishop M. S.Panochko, leader of the All-Ukrainian Union of Pentecostal Churches of Evangelical Faith, which is comprised of 1,500 churches across the nation. "He can do everything to tell them that he is not involved, but all the leaders have a lot of facts, and we have a lot of video of when he was pushing people, and he encouraged people to invest in this business."

Panochko was one of 10 leaders who met with Adelaja last Tuesday to confront him about his alleged support of King’s Capital and the negative impact some of his actions have had on the evangelical church in Ukraine.

The Pentecostal bishops, who together represent more than 2,500 congregations, listed seven items of concern and said Adelaja has a pattern of making exaggerated statements. They pointed particularly to his alleged claim that he led the 2004 Orange Revolution--when Ukrainian voters protested a presidential election many considered fraudulent--and his reports that God’s Embassy has 100,000 members across the nation. The bishops say those and other statements are untrue.

After the meeting, Adelaja issued a statement saying he did not organize the Orange Revolution, though his congregation participated in the demonstrations. He also asked forgiveness for the negative impact the King’s Capital scandal has had on Ukrainian churches, but he added that he did not personally have any involvement in the company.

Despite the statement, Panochko said the bishops would continue waiting for Adelaja to apologize for allegedly endorsing King’s Capital. If he does not repent, Panochko said the bishops would issue a statement to Christians in Ukraine and abroad, and to the Ukrainian government, denouncing Adelaja and claiming no affiliation with him.

Moscow-based pastor Rick Renner, founder of the Good News Association of Churches and Ministries for Russia, Latvia and Ukraine, said Adelaja’s claims are hurting Christians in the former Soviet Union.

If convicted, Adelaja may spend up to 12 years in imprisonment, according to Part 4, Article 190 of the Criminal Code of Ukraine.

Re: Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges by ow11(m): 11:29pm On Mar 22, 2009
From the story, I think he should clear his name. . .All those yahoo boys sef angry
Re: Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges by papagiddy(m): 3:37pm On Mar 23, 2009
well, i think he has pushed the investment stuff to far in his church, he shouldnt ve done that in his sermons, pple trusted him and followed his advice, in business law, he is guilty. am not condemming him o, but,
Re: Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges by Sikstrom: 6:26am On May 12, 2009
Deputy of the Head of Administration of the President of Ukraine Igor Popov is disturbed at the Minister of Internal Affairs Yuriy Lutsenko’s actions against Sunday Adelaja

What will Lutsenko choose: politics or law?

4th, May a deputy of the Head of Administration of the President of Ukraine, Igor Popov, held a chat-conference on Internet resource “Glavred”.

He answered to numerous issues of the day related to today’s political processes in Ukraine. One of the questions was about the senior pastor of the Christian church “Embassy of God”, Sunday Adelaja, and about public charges of the Minister of Interior Affairs Yuriy Lutsenko against Sunday Adelaja. Igor Popov’s answer was the following:

"I am neither a judge nor a politician. That is why I do not accuse people without having sufficient information and court’s decision. Unfortunately, representatives of some law enforcement bodies use their status for political struggle. Instead of pursuing criminals they speak in mass media.”

Let us mention that accusing an honest and world-respected pastor with fraud, the minister Yuriy Lutsenko broke the main Law of Ukraine, which is the Constitution of Ukraine. Particularly, article 62 of the Constitution prohibiting accusing a man without proving his guilt in court was broken.

"Unfortunately, in most cases such statements are not resulted in any other steps to punish the guilty", - deputy of the Head of Administration of the President of Ukraine, Igor Popov, added.

Indeed, the like official violations have become a practice of some Ukrainian politicians. However, these violations of law enforcement bodies can be equated with a crime, because mentioned agencies are to protect the law and the nation.

These events show that Ukrainian society cannot come back to the past. There is no place in politics for officials who ignore the principles of democracy.
We would like to believe that the President of Ukraine, Victor Yushchenko, as a guarantor of the Constitution will react to the actions of the minister Yuriy Lutsenko against pastor Sunday Adelaja in order to avoid the like violations against citizens of Ukraine and guests of our country.
Re: Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges by Sikstrom: 6:28am On May 12, 2009
Political Scientist Olexandr Doniy, from the same party as Luzhenko believes Sunday Adelaja has never been involved with King’s Capital

There are groundless public declarations made by the Minister of Internal Affairs, J. Luzhenko, which have occurred in Mass Media for the last several months. J.Luzhenko dared to slander the Senior Pastor of the Embassy of God church accusing him in criminal involvement and activity of the financial company King’s Capital, accusing him in the fraud specified in paragraph 3, article 37 and paragraph 4, article 190 of the Constitution of Ukraine. Thereby he broke the Law of Ukraine as presumption of innocence is valid in our country until judgment in court, which means that a person is considered not guilty or innocent until the court decision of guilt.

Sunday Adelaja personally objects all charges, declaring that he has nothing to do with the building, activity, and administration of King’s Capital. He considers it as the political strategy of some politicians whose path he has crossed not once.

Recently political scientist Olexandr Doniy, the deputy of the Parliament’s group "Our Ukraine is the National self-defense" in hard talk said: "Logically it is not worthwhile for the pastor of the most influential church (per se timeless project) to risk his authority getting involved in a financial pyramid (its quick and huge profits end up by escape of the founders or general managers)".

Olexandr Doniy, who is from the same party as J.Luzhenko, declared that he did not see any documents proving accusations of Sunday Adelaja, and he also added that personally Pastor Sunday Adelaja with his members of the church have the right to find out in the Ministry of Internal Affairs on what actual grounds afore mentioned accusations are brought. As experience shows (the case of Boris Kolesnikov) in most cases such accusations are not proved. In 2004 the Ministry of Internal Affairs with J.Luzhenko incriminated to Boris Kolesnikov acquisition with shares extortion of the business center "White Swan" (Beluy Lebed). The politician spent several months in pre-trial prison. As a result lawyers strived for a discharge of Boris Kolesnikov closing of the criminal case in the absence of crime in the act.

History of the Ukrainian justice shows that criminal cases widely spread by politicians through Mass Media at the beginning and often during the prejudicial inquiry were closed even without court. So it is possible to forecast that this criminal case incriminated by mister J.Luzhenko against pastor Sunday Adelaja will not be proved legally in court.
Re: Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges by Sikstrom: 6:29am On May 12, 2009
Sviatoslav Piskun: Lutsenko has broken the Constitution in case of pastor Sunday Adelaja

April, 29, the press-conference on the topic: "Law is one for everyone!” was held by the General prosecutor, national deputy of Ukraine Sviatoslav Piskun.

The previous General public prosecutor of Ukraine expressed his position as to the absurd accusations addressed to pastor Sunday Adelaja by the main policeman of country.

It is known that the minister of internal affairs of Ukraine – Juriy Lutsenko publicly imputed a crime to the senior pastor of the God’s Embassy Church, which was unproved, baseless and illegal as the Constitution of Ukraine provides presumption of innocence before a court’s sentence.

Sviatoslav Piskun strongly objects the accusation, which was brought against pastor Sunday and declared: "We cannot talk about the issue of the pastor without adducing any proof. Moreover I consider the fact that many politicians getting to the TV point at him saying "He is villain” is wrong. It is a straight violation of the Constitution, in which it is written that until guilt is proved in the court (even not during the investigation, but in the court) no one can be recognized as guilty”.

"After all where was this practice taken from? It seems to me that this practice came from 2004, when everyone came out to Maidan and said: "Prison to bandits!” So who are those bandits? They are whoever we point at…” – Mr. Piskun added.

First of all before you name someone a villain, you should prove their guilt. Having received the position of the Minister of Internal Affairs and after all revolution slogans Juriy Lutsenko opened numerous criminal cases, though many of them were not taken to the court, because they were not confirmed in pre-judicial investigation.

There was no court’s sentence for pastor Sunday, but the populist declarations of Mr. Lutsenko are deceiving Ukraine. The Minister of Internal Affairs of Ukraine makes Ukrainian nation lose faith in the power of law and equality of everyone, including officials before the Law.

The General persecutor of Ukraine considers all actions of Lutsenko to be a violation of the Main Law – The Constitution, but the current General persecutor O. Medved’ko does not react to illegal accusations against pastor Sunday accordingly to his responsibilities, and that shows that some internal institutions and certain politicians are joined against the pastor and are not interested in finding the truth in this case.

However it is the Minister of Internal Affairs Juriy Lutsenko who should answer for his consciously planed illegal actions against pastor Sunday Adelaja. Satisfaction has not been abolished in Justice yet.
Re: Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges by Sikstrom: 6:31am On May 12, 2009
The Minister of Justice does not support Lutsenko’s accusations against Adeladja

The Ukrainian Minister of justice, Mykola Onischyk took part in a press conference on Internet Portal "Obozrevatel" on April 7. The main Ukrainian lawyer expressed his position about the accusations against Pastor Sunday Adelaja and legality of the actions by the country’s Head Police officer.

Among the questions addressed to the Ukrainian Minister of justice was one concerning the accusation brought publicly by the Ukrainian Minister of MIA, Yuriy Lutsenko against the Senior Pastor of the Embassy of God church, Sunday Adelaja.

On the question whether you think pastor Sunday Adelaja is an offender or not, the Ukrainian Minister of justice, Mykola Onischyk answered the following: "For Ukraine as a country to achieve democracy, it is necessary to keep the principle presuming innocence. It means that a person can not be considered guilty or be accused of committing a crime until the verdict of "the accused" is passed. That is the reason why I have to refrain from making comments on this. Also I would like to take notice that any governmental body must adhere to this constitutional imperative. It is possible that the investigation of this criminal case has already possessed certain materials indicative of signs presence of crime, but this information usually is a secret investigation and can not be spread. We have to proceed from that until accusatory sentence is passed and a person considered innocent".

As it is known, there is still no accusatory sentence against Pastor Sunday Adelaja, but Lutsenko’s loud speeches lead people astray. It is not understandable why the Ukrainian Minister of MIA makes public addresses about Sunday Adelaja before the eyes of the whole country, Ukraine and thereby breaks the Ukrainian Law.

To date the principle of presumption of innocence is known to every student, but as we can see, the Head Police officer does not know that. Provoke indignation that the Ukrainian Minister of MIA who has to watch over the Law breaks it himself. Is it really so, that after all, Lutsenko’s speeches are outright racist manifestations and political orders about Pastor of the Embassy of God church, Sunday Adelaja?
Re: Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges by Sikstrom: 6:34am On May 12, 2009
Kirill Kulikov is afraid that Sunday Adelaja would capture the Office of the President

Kirill Kulikov, the deputy of the Parliament’s group “Our Ukraine is the National self-defense” is anxious about the activity of the Embassy of God church and its Senior Pastor Sunday Adelaja, as the depute declares:” The activities of Adelaja’s church is a threat to the scountry’s safety”. It is interesting to know if Mr. Kulikov is aware of that this “religious organization”, Embassy of God, is officially registered and has been active during the last 15 years in Ukraine and it hasn’t brought any kind of threat to the state safety.

In February, the previous year Mr. Kulikov insisted on having the Pastor of the Embassy of God church, Sunday Adelaja deported with the explanation that “he is a man whose residence on the territory of Ukraine is not desirable”. He stated the following:”If this foreign citizen is not a desirable person even if he has not committed any crime in Ukraine, but his residence in the country is not advisable, then it is possible to exercise the procedure of deportation. So, I insist that Sunday Adelaja would be immediately deported as the activity of his sect causes damage to our country…”

All these aforementioned statements contradict to the International Convection of human rights and Constitution of Ukraine.  These are political repressions and violation of human rights for liberty of conscience and freedom of religion and spreading of religious hostility and racism.

It is not hard to guess that the essence of these populist declarations of Mr. Kulikov has the nature of the political order. In an interview with the chief editor he emphasized that Sunday Adelaja is a rather influential person, and sooner or later he would occupy the Office of the Ukrainian President. Obviously, Mr. Kulikov is very interested in this issue fearing an “Ukrainian Obama”, and that is why he is looking  for all possible and impossible ways to discriminate Adelaja, not giving him any chance to a considerable impact on the society and authority in Ukraine.
Re: Ukraine-based Nigerian Pastor, Sunday Adelaja, In Fraud Charges by Sikstrom: 6:39am On May 12, 2009
Rick Renner asked the Embassy of God Church for forgiveness

Famous Christian Minister and pastor of Good News Church, Rick Renner asked for forgiveness from the Embassy of God Church members, informed the press-center of Good News Church especially for Christian Mega-Portal invictory.org. In his opening conversation Pastor Renner said, he apologies that he might have offended members of the Embassy of God Church. He remarked that he respects Pastor Sunday and loves him and also thinks that the Embassy of God Church made a big investment in the establishing of the Kingdom of God in Kiev.

We want to remind you that Pastor Rick Renner during the church service in the Good News Church in Moscow made a video appeal where he asked Pastor Adelaja to repent of his lies and called him a “naked king” .

Complete text of rick Renner’s appeal is presented below:
“I am very sorry if my words offended members of the Embassy of God Church”, - says rick Renner. “Believe me: I did not have such intentions and purposes. We like the Embassy of God Church and its investments in the establishing of the Kingdom of God in Kiev deserve respect. The role of this church in the city life is very valuable and we pray for its confident future”

Rick Renner continues: “I have known Pastor Sunday more than one year and love him and respect him. I would like him and the members of his church to know that we pray for them. We also pray that the church would go through the difficult times as soon as possible. I ask God to cover us with His mercy and always hope that God will reveal His mercy and extend His cover upon over lives. There is none perfect ones among us, we all make mistakes. I want to close with these words, that God’s mercy may overcome any difficulties, recover and heal us. The blood of Jesus is covering everything which I am really thankful to God for.

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