Idoma Community chides Bishop Audu For Backing Misappropriation of funds
…As Idoma Worshippers deplete by 40%
The Keffi Branch of SS Peter and Paul Idoma Catholic Community has blamed the Catholic Bishop of Lafia Diocese, Bishop Mathew Audu over mismanagement of N2.7million Community fund by one Mr. Sunday Agada of St. Dominic Catholic church, Calvary Road, Aso Mararaba in Karu Local Government Area of Nasarawa state.
Mr Stephen Ekoja, President of the group in open letter addressed to the Bishop accused Rev. Fr. Patrick Agbo, the former chaplain of the Christian community of covering up for Agada. According to him, the development has led to the mass exodus of about 40%of Idoma community from the church.
While scolding the bishop for supporting what he termed the unjust treatment on members of the Idoma community in the Diocese, Mr Ekoja added that he decided to go public for the world to know what is going on in the Diocese.
Narrating the ordeals the community went through in the hands of the Bishop and his Priest Father Patrick Agbo, he said, “i took over the leadership as President of St. Peter & Paul, Idoma Catholic Community Keffi Branch on 29th November 2015 at St. Kizito Parish, Nasarawa from Mr. Sunday Agada, my predecessor. His handing over note to me clearly stated that the sum of Two million, six hundred and seventy thousand, six hundred and two Naira only(N2,670,602) was in our bank account and the whole members clapped for him on the day. “Few weeks later, on getting to the bank, and to our greatest dismay, only N81,000 was discovered to be in our account and that the account was last operated on 27th February 2012.
“Consequently, in our exco emergency meeting, we gave him (Agada Sunday) one-year grace period within which to pay up the N2,670,602 to our account but he failed. In our subsequent delegates meeting, we unanimously agreed and suspended him from the meeting as part of measures to get the money from him since he is gainfully employed. “To our greatest surprise, Fr. Patrick Agbo, the then Chaplain called for an emergency meeting and lifted his suspension and even threatened to suspend me the current president. The development by Fr. Agbo has confirmed our fears just exactly what Agada, the erstwhile President told us the day we suspended him. “On November, 2017 I called Agada, sat him down and asked him why behaving that way and he told me that it is because of the N2,670,602 he embezzled which I opened up to the entire delegates, and that out of shame, he was left with no option than resort to blackmailing me and my exco members before Fr. Agbo and even to the National Level where he is the Financial Secretary and ended up pleading for forgiveness.
“Thereafter, Agada admitted and promised paying N100,000 monthly adding that before six months, he will ensure that the whole N2,670,602 is paid off. In reaction, Fr. Agbo said that he will not pay N100,000 but N50,000 only until the money is liquidated. We were however not comfortable with the decision of Fr Agbo a clergy man upturning the decision of the new Exco. “This continued until about 3 years of our administration and Agada was not able to pay up to half of the embezzled amount, then the delegates in a meeting resolved to take a disciplinary action against him in order to recover our money. Agada Sunday then ran to Fr. Agbo and connived with him that the only way to avert the disciplinary action against him is for Fr. Agbo to dissolve our Exco which Fr. Agbo consented to and plotted a coup with our national chaplain Fr. Ameh Onuh Joseph and National President Mr. Simeon Adukwu and announced to us in our last year feast congress on 2/7/2018 via Fr. Ogwuche that you my Lord, Bishop Audu of Lafia wants to have a summit with us the Idoma Community on 11/8/2018 at Akwanga. “On that day (11/8/2018), my Lord if you could recall, you only came and address us specifically on the Prayer House Owners and left before Fr. Agbo began to unfold his plans in the name of restructuring St. Peter & Paul by pronouncing Mararaba Guruku as Branch, dissolved Keffi Exco and appointed caretaker committee to run the Keffi which we said categorically is against our constitutional provisions. “My lord, because of the controversy arising from Fr. Agbo’s action, we wrote you a letter to redress the situation and which you graciously invited all of us to Lafia. And at Lafia, after you have examined the whole situation, you said ‘’You know what Fr. Agbo did to us is wrong, but it stands’’. It then became crystal clear that you took sides with Fr. Agbo and his co-travellers because we are lay faithfuls and not priest. ” we chose to place it on public domain for people to know what is happening to us in your Diocese right before your nose which you my Lord is encouraging. The action of Father Agbo which you sided has resulted in over 40 percent of Idoma Catholic Community members to leave the church in recent times for your information. In my opinion, this is not disciple making.