Rt. Rev. Chijioke Otti, the Anglican Bishop of Oguta Diocese in Imo State, has dragged three senior priests of the church to court for refusing to remit monies to his office.
The priests are Venerable Canon Eugene Onwubie, Rev. Eugene Iheanacho, and Venerable Cannon Caleb Udom, who are officially in charge of St. Mathias Anglican Church, Nkwesi and Emmanuel Church, Izombe, respectively.
They were sued by the bishop for refusing to obey his instructions on the remission of the monies; a development that made him to demand that they submit their ordination certificates to him and subsequently issuing them seven days’ notice to vacate their official residences.
However, the crisis took a new twist after the Magistrate Court in Oguta adjourned the matter with suit no: MOG/10/2017 till December 14, 2017.
Following the adjournment, members of congregation in the affected parishes trooped out in their hundreds to march to the Anglican Cathedral in Oguta; demanding the sacking of the bishop.
They carried placards with several inscriptions such as “Bishop Otti, Stop this intimidation now or face our anger”, “Bishop Otti, is Diocese on the Lake your private business?”, “Bishop Otti, pay your priests”, “Oguta youths say no to your intimidation, harassment and humiliation”, “Enough is enough, Bishop Otti”, amongst others.
Briefing journalists on the matter, spokesman from St. Mathias Anglican Church, Nkwesi, Elder Edwin Onyemaechi, described the bishop’s action against the affected priests as shameful, saying, “he brought a minor matter that should have been handled in-house to court. What has happened to round table discussion?” he queried.
He said the protest would continue even to Abuja so that the Anglican Primate would use the opportunity to transfer the bishop to theological seminary where he would have no opportunity to pollute the church anymore.
Onyemaechi called on the leadership of the church to intervene in the matter before it gets out of hand.
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