February 27, 2021

Lawyers petition securities as Nigerian pilgrims boss sets to launch twin Assemblies of God Church

Proposed Church launch holds Sunday according to official handbills

The Executive Secretary, Nigerian Christian Pilgrims Commission (NCPC), Rev. Yakubu Pam may have completed plans to launch his proposed “Assembly of God Northern Nigeria”, a breakaway faction of the “Assemblies of God Nigeria” Church.

Indications emerged on Thursday that the official declaration of the Plateau State zone of the proposed Church has been slated for Sunday, October 11, 2020 at Assemblies of God Church, Hwolshe, a supposed property of the old Church.

The Executive Council of Assemblies of God Nigeria on September 16, 2020 wrote the NCPC boss to discontinue plans to “illegally” set up a Church identical to its own, threatening to take legal actions within three weeks if he failed.

Officials of the Corporate Affairs Commission (CAC) had also on August 27, 2020 written to the Incorporated Trustees of Assembly of God Northern Nigeria Church to change the registered name of the Church within six weeks which terminates October 8, 2020.

The letter (COM/GCE/QU/VOL.1/2020/286) signed by Registrar-General of CAC, Mr. Suleiman Mamman said the name was similar to “Assemblies of God Nigeria” which it said was registered in 1996.

This is thought to be in regards of the Companies and Allied Matters Act 2004 (as amended) which in section 30(1) forbids the registration of an organization under a name identical with that by which a company in existence is previously registered, or nearly resembling it to be likely to “deceive”.

CAC’s directive followed a petition by Lawyers of Assemblies of God Nigeria, Seven Seals Attorneys, on August 16, 2020, seeking the withdrawal of certificate of incorporation issued for Assembly of God Northern Nigeria in November 2019.

Rev. Pam, the alleged arrowhead of the new Northern Nigerian Church however said in an online interview that he was not aware of the letter. Secretary of the AGNN, Rev. James Movel Wuye also denied knowledge of the letter.

Neither Rev. Pam nor Rev. Movel however commented on the purported petition by officials of the Assemblies of God Nigeria Church on the moves. Both officials insisted that they have a certificate of incorporation which gives them legal rights to operate.

Potential violence in Jos

The use of the Assemblies of God’s Church property for the new Assembly of God Northern Nigeria is however still in contention. In a letter on October 7, 2020 addressed to the Commissioner of Police, copied to the Inspector General of Police, the Director of the State Security Services, Permanent Secretary, Security, Plateau State Government House and among others, Christian Association of Nigeria, Attorneys of Assemblies of God Nigeria feared potential “breach of peace” if the new Church continues its “threat of violence and forceful usage” of the properties of Assemblies of God Nigeria.

Its Pastors in Jos, the letter signed by Barrister Ezra Jinang said had already been sacked through violence by members and the incorporated Trustees of Assembly of God Northern Nigeria.

Assemblies of God Church has in recent years experienced internal conflicts with factional leaderships installed in many of its branches. The now incorporated Assembly of God Northern Nigeria is however thought to be the only known breakaway faction, led by Rev. Pam, the Assemblies of God Nigeria’s Jos District Superintendent whose tenure reportedly elapsed in March 2020 while still serving as the Chairman, Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Northern Nigeria.