Posted by Samson Nwafor | 15 June 2017 | 4,476 times
Ebonyi State Government has sealed Power House Interdenominational Ministry and Power House International Primary and Secondary School belonging to a controversial cleric, Ambassador Ephraim Ononye. The State Government said the closure was part of its clampdown on mushroom schools operating without approval. His church, according to government, was closed for failing to pay tax. He was also accused of not registering the church with the Corporate Affairs Commission, CAC, but sources close to the church said it was fully registered with the CAC.
Before the church was sealed, it was raided last week Thursday by police detectives working for the state police command. Ononye, who was appointed Chairman, State Emergency Management Agency, SEMA, by Governor David Umahi, has also been suspended indefinitely from office by the governor, who accused him of being a threat to the security of the state.
The clampdown on the property linked to the cleric was alleged not to be unconnected with his recent criticism of Governor Umahi’s administration. He was the leader of the Ministers of God that formed part of the 2015 campaign team of Umahi under platform of Divine Mandate Pastors, but recent developments showed that there is no love lost between him and the governor. Sources alleged that his criticism of Umahi’s administration reached the crescendo after he visited the governor and told him about God’s revelation to him that he (Umahi) would not win his 2019 re-election bid and later revealed same to the press, which made it public; a development that has been causing ripples within government circles.
The radical cleric, who is known for his penchant for politics, became prominent after he led hundreds of women and children on a broom revolution against former Governor Martin Elechi’s administration over what he described as lack of good governance to the people. When contacted, the embattled cleric was reluctant to speak to the press; but sources close to him said he does not want to talk to journalists to avoid escalating the matter. On why his church was raided, the state police spokesman, DSP Jude Madu, said the police is investigating allegations of murder against the embattled cleric. A fellow pastor within the Divine Mandate team was alleged to have petitioned security agencies in the state accusing Ambassador Ononye of murder and burying of human heads inside his church. (Nigerian Pilot)
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