Author Topic: Ukraine Intensifies Probe Of Nigerian Pastor As Fear Of Discrimination Rises  (Read 746 times)

[float=left][/float] UKRANIAN police has summoned a famous Nigerian Pastor, Mr. Sunday Adelaja, who pastors the country's biggest church based in Kiev, the capital city, to report for what is feared may be an arrest and detention in a controversial case bordering on racial discrimination and religious victimization, which has been going on for the last three years, Empowered Newswire reports.

Confirming the invitation by the nation's Internal Affairs Ministry in an interview over the weekend, Adelaja said the case for which he is being summoned is about the collapse of a business-King's Capital which was owned by members of his church, but for which he or the church administration had no formal or official relationship.

The Nigerian born, Ukranian pastor, Sunday Adelaja who was described last year by the New York Times as one of the country's "best known public figures" is facing what is seen by many as trumped up charges in a country, where another Nigerian young man was recently charged with attempted murder after he fought to defend himself from the assualt of 4 Ukrainian attackers.

Adelaja who is founder and pastor of what is widely regarded as the largest church in Europe, The Embassy of the Blessed Kingdom of God for All Nations in Kiev, Ukraine spoke in an exclusive chat with Empowered Newswire.

He said he has been summoned by the Ukraine national police, under the former socialist nation's Internal Affairs Ministry to appear on Tuesday August 28 on charges bordering on how members of his church ran a business enterprise King's Capital aground, and also allegations that he is running a crime organization.

That business may have been worth about $100m, according to Adelaja's church reporting on the case.

Dismissing the allegation as mere political charges that bears no resemblance to fact, Adelaja said "in Ukraine you don't have to commit a crime before you are accused, you only have to be targetted."

In the same vein, his attorney, a well-known Ukrainian lawyer, Andrey Fedur stated also that as far as the law is concerned Adelaja " cannot be punished, for he does not have anything to do with this case. The charges are absolutely made up and have no foundation."

According to a New York Times report last year, " Adelaja has built a vast religious organization under the banner of his church, Embassy of God. He has become one of Ukraine’s best known public figures," making him by far a significant leader in the country whose favor politicians have curried in the past causing them to win victories to high public positions.

While Adelaja's political battle has been on for over several years now, since 2009, the invitation to the state police on Tuesday is seen as a heightening of the case, after some members of the church have been detained for over two years now.

Besides the Pastor himself is under constant police surveillance and not allowed to travel out of the country

A media commentator and Washington DC publisher, Dr. Segun Olanipekun writing on the summoning said alongside Adelaja five people have been accused in the church and those have been arrested by the police ahead of Pastor Sunday Adelaja's invitation on Tuesday.

According to Olanipekun, "the church fears that this invitation and the deliberate change of the charge to a criminal one are part of the plot to jail the innocent pastor as he is seen to be a threat to the present government."

The King's Capital was formed by some members of Adelaja's church, but amidst the global economic crisis, the investment company failed and many investors lost a big chunk of money. While there has been no direct link to Pastor Adelaja in the management of the company, besides that the owners are members of the church, the Ukrainian police is said to be insisting on linking Adelaja to the failure of the company and alleging criminal acts against the company.

In previous interviews with the police, Adelaja said his questioners were always asking if he knew the church members who owned the business and he always answered in the affirmative, explaining that he was the target of the whole investigation.