RE: BISHOP CHRIS AND I, THE TRUE STORY (A REJOINDER)
THE SACROSANCT FACTS!
In light of the false and misleading stories being circulated by Rita Ibeni and her cohorts about the Bishop with the above and other numerous captions, we find it expedient to restate the truth for the benefit of those who have not heard the truth before now and to clear the air on some of the distorted facts presented in the said stories.
It is no longer news that Rita Ibeni was a staff in the Media Department of Our Daily Manna/Manna Prayer Mountain Ministry between 2012 and early part of 2017. She became Head of the Media Department of the ministry in 2015. In March, 2017 the management of the ministry carried out an internal audit of all the departments and discovered that certain gadgets were missing from the Media Department. These include video camera, computer desktop, wireless transmitter and black magic mixer which amounted to about N5.6million. Rita Ibeni and her line supervisors were asked to account for the missing items. While the enquiries as to the whereabouts of the missing items were still ongoing, Rita Ibeni suddenly absconded from work. All attempts by the management of Our Daily Manna to make her resume her duties were rebuffed by her. In one of the occasions the Assistant General Overseer (AGO) called her line and demanded to know why she stopped working in such unceremonious manner and she bluntly told the AGO that she was no longer interested in the job.
The case of theft of the above mentioned items was subsequently reported at the Ogudu Police Station by the ministry. The police invited all the staff and personnel connected with the missing items for questioning and their statements were obtained by the police. Rita Ibeni became a prime suspect in the commission of the crime because she was directly responsible for safe keeping of the missing gadgets and because of the way and manner she refused to assist the ministry in the internal investigation to unravel the perpetrators of the crime by her sudden and inexplicable disappearance from her duty post.
Meanwhile, without prejudice to the police investigation to unravel the criminal culpability of any of the staff, the management of the ministry in line with its disciplinary mechanism clearly spelt out in the Working Rules /Staff Handbook of the Ministry, instituted a probe panel pane which came up with a verdict indicting the ODM General Manager and Accountants for oversight negligence in their duties which led to the loss of the items in the Media Department. Consequently, they are currently paying for some of the missing items via deductions from their monthly salaries for failure to supervise Rita Ibeni and the Media Department closely. Pastor Timothy (a Pastor in the Ministry incharge of DVD and Audio Messages) is also currently paying for three laptops missing from his custody. So the inventory/audit of assets and the ensuing investigations/ disciplinary measures were never targeted at Rita Ibeni or any person for that matter but it was a wholesome exercise to instill sanity and orderliness in the administration of the Ministry. As the facts above have clearly shown, contrary to the lies in the stories being circulated in the social media by Rita Ibeni, she is not the only one indicted for the loss of the gadgets. She made herself the prime suspect by absconding from her duty post when the investigative/disciplinary panel was carrying out its functions. Hence the police was involved in the matter.
Rita Ibeni was subsequently invited to the Ogudu Police for questioning and was later released on bail. While the police was still investigating the matter, the Ministry received a letter dated 4th April, 2017 and signed by one Mr. Ohio Ojeagbase. The letter was on a letterhead of Probitas Report.
The gist of the letter was that Probitas Report, a purported online media organization claimed that it received a complaint of oppression, sexual harassment and threat to life from Rita Ibeni against the General Overseer of Our Daily Manna / Manna Prayer Mountain Ministry and that they were desirous to hear the Ministry’s side of the story before taking a decision to publish the story. On the basis of the said letter the leadership of the Ministry sent its solicitor and publicist to represent the Ministry at a meeting attended by Rita Ibeni, Mr. Ohio Ojeagbase (the purported journalist) and Mr. Uche Iloani who claimed to be solicitor to Rita Ibeni.
At the said meeting held on 5th April, 2017, the duo of Mr. Uche Iloani and Mr. Ohio Ojeagbase claimed they perceived that Rita Ibeni was being oppressed, harassed and intimidated by the Bishop/General Overseer of the Ministry hence they were standing in as voice to defend and speak on her behalf. At this point the leadership of the ministry was of the impression that they were dealing with a genuine and credible news outfit so they directed some of the members of staff of the Media Department who were questioned by the police on the complaint of theft to state what they knew about the missing items to the purported journalist, to show that the ministry is transparent and has nothing to hide.
Rita Ibeni also spoke at the meeting and she claimed that she was sexually harassed by the Bishop but she never gave in to his advances. She also claimed that she has some voice recordings of telephone conversations between her and the Bishop as proofs of the alleged harassment. Both Mr. Ohio Ojeagbase and Mr. Uche Iloani also claimed that the purported recordings were in their respective custodies and they had listened to them and were absolutely convinced that the conversation therein were in the Bishop’s voice.
Rita however was unable to state how she was sexually harassed or how the purported recording establishes a claim of sexual harassment. The purported recording was played at the meeting from Rita’s phone but it was of poor audio quality and was not audible enough for any reasonable man to decipher the gist of the conversation talkless of identifying the voices.
Rita was also questioned about the missing items and why she suddenly disappeared from her duty post when the theft was discovered and she couldn’t proffer any coherent or reasonable explanation to these questions. At the end of the questioning the purported journalist admitted that Rita was culpable of negligence in handling the missing items but that does not make her liable for the theft.
The lawyer then stated that Rita suffered as a result of the arrest by the police therefore he will be demanding some sorts of compensation for the trauma she suffered. He also demanded that the case of theft must be withdrawn from the police forthwith else they will publish a damaging story against the Bishop and the ministry which will damage his reputation beyond redemption. The journalist also supported the lawyer on the need for monetary compensation with the threat of publishing the story if the ministry failed to comply with the demand.
It is expedient to point out that there was no mention of sexual harassment or threat to life in Rita’s statement to the police before she was granted bail. And neither she nor her lawyer ever made any complaint of sexual harassment or threat to life to the police. It was at this meeting that the lawyer disclosed that a day prior to the meeting, he accompanied Rita to the Ogudu Police Station to make additional statement in order to introduce a defence of sexual harassment to the allegation of stealing. This is an afterthought and lends credence to the fact that the whole story about sexual harassment and the purported voice recording are mere fabrications to achieve an evil goal.
The questions that came to mind at this point were many: why didn’t Rita come up with allegation of sexual harassment in her initial statement to the police? Why did she and her lawyer go behind the ministry to the police to make additional statements which are products of afterthought and fabrication? If they were sure of their story why didn’t her lawyer make a formal complaint of sexual harassment and threat to life to the police? why was the journalist who claimed to be carrying out investigation to have a balanced view of a story suddenly become one sided and leaning on the side of one of the parties to claim monetary compensation? Why must a lawyer who claimed to have over twenty years’ experience go to a journalist with a complaint of sexual harassment and threat to life on behalf of his client without first reporting the matter to the police? Is the journalist the right authority to handle such a case if not that there is a clandestine motive to achieve something ulterior.
The meeting came to a close with an understanding that the Ministry’s representatives will convey the request and the threat to the Bishop who was expected to name a figure to be paid by the ministry as ransom to forestall the threatened negative publication. Of course, it became clear that we were dealing with a case of blackmail and criminal extortion by threat. It was decided by the ministry at this point that the culprits of the blackmail and criminal extortion must be brought to book but there was need to gather the evidence to nail them so there was need to engage them in further discussions.
On Thursday 6th April, the Ministry’s publicist had a telephone conversation with Mr. Ohio Ojeagbase, the purported journalist. The publicist made an offer of N100,000 (one hundred thousand naira) as ransom for the threatened publication but Mr. Ojeagbase was reported to have said that the offer of N100,000 was an insult on his person and that the ministry should be talking in terms of millions of naira and not thousands. He suggested to the publicist that if the Bishop does not have the kind of money they are demanding for he should surrender a title document of one of his properties and they will get him a banker to facilitate a loan to make the payment.
Rita Ibeni’s solicitor, also called the Ministry’s solicitor to demand that something concrete must be on the table by close of work on Friday 7th April or they will direct the journalist to go ahead and publish the negative story. He was assured by the Ministry’s solicitor that the ministry was working on something for them. These prompted a ground for a second meeting which was scheduled for evening of 7th April but Rita Ibeni’s lawyer and the journalist failed to show up.
The meeting was subsequently rescheduled for Monday 10th April, 2017 and Mr. Ohio Ojeagbase came with another man whom he introduced as his colleague. Also present was Rita’s solicitor and the Ministry’s solicitor and publicist. At this meeting Rita’s solicitor initially demanded for N200million until he was asked to be more realistic by the ministry’s representatives. He then named N15million while the journalist stated that he will take half of what the lawyer is collecting. The Ministry’s representatives then requested that they reduce the amount. At this point the two purported journalists and the lawyer excused themselves for a side discussion and upon their return, the lawyer announced that he was reducing the ransom by N3million which amount he stuck to and the journalist demanded for half of N12million so all the ransom they demanded for amounted to N18,000,000.00 (Eighteen Million Naira).
Before the meeting came to a close, they again vehemently pressed home their demand with the threat of publishing the libelous story and releasing some fabricated recording to tarnish the reputation of the General Overseer and the Ministry if the monies were not paid timeously. All the conversation at the second meeting were captured via a recording device.
At this meeting Rita’s lawyer boasted that they have done “human Google” on the Bishop and have ascertained his networth and are very certain that he can pay the demanded ransom with ease. He then asked a rhetorical question whether any amount is too much to pay for the Bishops reputation which he says is unquantifiable in terms of naira and kobo.
The ministry subsequently prepared a petition with dispatch and same was sent to the commissioner of police and in order to get the culprits to a venue where they can easily be apprehended by the police, a third meeting was scheduled for Wednesday 12th April, 2017. In order to get Rita’s lawyer and journalist to the meeting they were informed that the Bishop want to meet with them before handing over the cash to them. While all the parties were at the meeting venue the SARS operatives of the Lagos State Police Command came in to arrest everyone.
At the police station the statements of all the parties were obtained. Rita’s lawyer denied the allegation of blackmail and extortion, likewise the purported journalist. The lawyer claimed that the money he demanded for is for terms of settlement for his client. The journalist also claimed that the money he demanded for is compensation for his effort in investigating the case.
The police in their questioning of the culprits put the following questions to them:
- Which is the right authority to report allegation of sexual harassment and threat to life? A journalist or the police?
- Does a journalist have the licence or authority to investigate a criminal offence?
- Who is supposed to compensate the other in a case of allegation of theft, the complainant or the accused?
- Who is the complainant in the case of allegation of theft? Why is Rita then demanding for compensation when she was the person accused of stealing?
- Is Rita supposed to demand compensation from the Ministry or it is supposed to be the other way?
- What are the acts of sexual harassment complained of by Rita?
- What is the money demanded meant for?
They were charged to court the next day and granted bail. Whilst the case is pending in court, Rita came out of her hiding and wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Lagos State alleging bias against men of the SARS operative. The commissioner then assigned the Deputy Commissioner of Police to look into the matter and a panel of the police comprising senior officers of the Legal Department of the Lagos State Command superintended over the matter. The Bishop and representatives of the ministry were invited for a meeting by the police hierarchy at the instance of Rita on 27th April, 2017. At the meeting the police listened to the purported voice recording by Rita and advised her in her own interest to apologize to the Bishop for blackmail, extortion and attempt to tarnish the Bishop’s reputation. Rita and her lawyer profusely begged the Bishop for forgiveness and blamed their action on the devil.
The Bishop being the father that he is forgave them with a condition that they should publish a retraction and apology in two national newspapers and also publish retraction in the online media outfit where they disparage the Bishop’s name. Rita and her lawyer agreed to these conditions and left the venue of the meeting full of gratitude. However at the expiration of the ultimatum given to them for the publication Rita’s lawyer spoke with one of the Ministry’s solicitors and informed that other members of their group rejected the condition given by the Bishop and that they vowed to fight on. The tone of Rita’s lawyer was indicative of the fact that he couldn’t help it but being forced to go with the wishes of members of the cabal.
A close scrutiny of the write-up that provoked this response will reveal that the said article was written and doctored for and on behalf of Rita by a professional. The lies and the manner in which the whole article was put together is shocking and like a fiction thriller for those familiar with the facts! This is just a tip to establish the fact that some forces who are obviously angered by the great move of God through the ODM vision are bent on stopping this move. But who can stop the move of God? Their judgment is surely at hand!
These forces are unrelenting in their efforts to rubbish the Bishop as they are churning out various voice recordings, in the Bishop’s cloned voice, carrying adverse messages which are against the tenets and principles of the ODM vision. The most recent in the series of these cloned voice messages is the one wherein the voice message (in the Bishop’s cloned voice) is asking the recipient to support the ODM vision with monetary donations by calling a certain number with a warning not to inform someone else about it.
We want to state without any element of equivocation, that the voice message referred to above and others like it are not from the Bishop. They are the handiwork of satanic agents who are employing the aid of technology to cause distraction in the body of Christ. We enjoin the Church and the general public to disregard it.
It must also be placed on record that the Ministry’s Administrator, Mrs. Eunice Ibeni (who is married to Rita’s elder brother) has absconded from her duty post and all efforts to make her give account of things put under her custody has yielded no positive result. If the police is invited into the matter she will obviously cry out that she is being oppressed and who knows, she may also allege sexual harassment. What a world!