After a five-year-long investigation into the finances of United Kingdom (UK) branch of Christ Embassy, founded by Pastor Chris Oyakhilome, the UK Charity Commission has indicted the churchs board of trustees of a wide range of fraudulent practices including illegally paying more than N827 million (£1,767,250) to entities and organisations it shares close relationships with.
According to the outcome of the inquiry published by the Charity Commission on its website last month, the churchs board of trustees was incriminated for shoddy management of the churchs account, arbitrary and curious payments, failure to comply with its grant-making policy, inadequate recording of its decision making processes and serious misconduct and/or mismanagement in the charitys administration.
In one particularly disturbing instance, the inquiry found evidence the church may be laundering or diverting funds of up to N288 million (£615,420.00) from its UK branches to six accounts controlled by the churchs Nigerian branch, Christ Embassy Nigeria.
The Charity Commission also found that the church, which was founded in 1996 and has over 90 worship centres across the UK, illegally registered three properties in the names of two members of its board of trustees, failed to pay taxes worth over £250,000 on expenditures by employees, failed to secure adequate insurance, and had an instance of criminal violation of British town planning and building regulations.
In 2014, the Charity Commission, which regulates charities in England and Wales, announced it was opening a statutory inquiry to investigate Christ Embassy over a number of serious concerns relating to the use of charitable funds, in particular, large connected party payments and the potential misapplication of grant funding.