CAN President, Ayo Oritsejafor

CAN President, Ayo Oritsejafor

$9.3m Money Laundering: My Hands Are Clean, Ayo Oritsejafor Swears Before CAN Members


“Distinguished leaders of the church, please permit me to state clearly before God and before all of you here present today, that I am not a party to the movement of $9.3 million from Nigeria to South Africa to purchase arms and ammunition. I am not part of the deal. I know nothing about it.”

Those where the words of Ayo Oritsejafor, the embattled president of the Christian Association of Nigeria CAN, whose private jet was used in smuggling $9.3million cash out of Nigeria to South Africa.

Ayo Oritsejafor, in the early hours of today met with members of the group’s national executive committee to step up damage control measures after preliminary investigations revealed his jet was used to ferry the cash, though he had denied the allegations before now.

Pastor Oritsejafor presided over today’s meeting, which held at the National Christian Center in Abuja. A source at the meeting said the atmosphere was often contentious as some leaders of CAN’s state chapters in attendance expressed skepticism over their national leader’s explanation of the whole weapons-running affair. Mr. Oritsejafor has faced growing criticism from people who wonder how and why the CAN president’s private jet ended up being involved in an operation a cash-for-weapons scheme.

 During the meeting and in a prepared statement sent to media houses Pastor Oritsejafor, a close confidant of President Goodluck Jonathan, spoke defiantly and denied any involvement in smuggling cash to South Africa for illicit arms purchase.

 He admitted full ownership of the jet, a confession he initially avoided, claiming he was only a fractional owner of the company that owns the jet.

He further stated that, in order to help with the cost of operating the private jet, he had placed it with the Green Coast Produce Company on lease. He added that it was the leasing company that had given the jet to the individuals who used it to transfer cash to South Africa. South African authorities said two yet-to-be identified Nigerians and an Israeli citizen accompanied the jet when it landed in their country.

In addition to denying responsibility for the smuggled cash and the arms purchase deal, the CAN leader accused some elements bent on dividing Nigerian Christians of fanning the embers of the controversy.

“It is clear that those who manipulated this conspiracy desire to create a schism in the church,” Mr. Oritsejafor said, adding that “the media hype and the deliberate distortion of information that followed it confirmed that forces that desperately desire to cause division and disunity in the church are at work. Even the devil knows that a house that is divided cannot stand.”

See excerpt from the statement sent to media houses below:

“I want to assure you that I will not do anything to tarnish the image of Jesus Christ or compromise the divine standard of the church.

“As you are all aware, the media has been awashed in the past few days about an unfortunate incident involving the movement of funds from Nigeria to South Africa. In the unfortunate news reports, attempts have been made to link me directly with the transaction.

“So far I have refrained from making any direct public response pending the time that I would have brief the leaders if the church and explain my position on the issues to them.

“I believe that the primary institution that I owe any explanation to is the church.

“At the risk of being seen to be defending myself, I wish to confirm to the distinguished leaders of the church that the Bombardier Challenger 601 aircraft in question is mine. The aircraft was presented to me as a gift by members of our congregation and ministry partners worldwide at my 40th anniversary of my call into the ministry.

“May I be permitted to stress that the aircraft was not given to me by the President of Nigeria, neither was it a settlement for any political favour or patronage.

“With the benefit of hindsight, the President of the country was a guest in our church during the anniversary celebration when the jet was presented to me.

“The President of Nigeria has nothing to do with the gift of the aircraft. By the way I still wonder why all those saying this, still cannot come out to show proof so that the matter can be put to rest once and for all. Let me say that this might be an issue for the courts in the near future.

“Based on this, I leased the aircraft on August 2, 2014 to a company to run it. It was the leasee that entered into an agreement with the people who carried out the transfer of funds. Having leased the aircraft to the Green Coast Produce Company Limited, any transaction undertaken with the aircraft can no longer be attached to me.

“Inasmuch as I am shocked and distressed by the incident, I wish to appeal to Christians in Nigeria to remember that a war has been waged against the Nigerian church. This war is being fought on many fronts and this unfortunate incident is another dimension in the assault against the church.

“It is clear that those who manipulated this conspiracy desire to create a schism in the church.

“The media hype and the deliberate distortion of information that followed it confirmed that forces that desperately desire to cause division and disunity in the church are at work. Even the devil knows that a house that is divided cannot stand.

“As Christians, we need unity in the church now more than ever. We are witnessing inhuman attacks by religious extremists against Christians in the northern part of the country, while christian infrastructure is being destroyed in hundreds.

“If we permit the enemy divide us, our chances of corporate survival shall be severely threatened.

“Distinguished leaders of the church, please permit me to state clearly before God and before all of you here present today, that I am not a party to the movement of $9.3m from Nigeria to South Africa to purchase arms and ammunition. I am not part of the deal. I know nothing about it,” he stated.

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Comments

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One Comment

  1. Yusufu Abdullahi says:

    Do not mind him because his ship is sinking geometrically down and is ready to get hold of anything to survive drowning including grabbing spider web, like a mirage.

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