A sacked Area pastor of Living Faith Church (aka Winners’ Chapel) in Palm Street Extension, Atakpa, Calabar South local government area of Cross River State, Dominion Esang Winner, has dragged the church to the National Industrial Court of Nigeria (NIC), Calabar Judicial Division, for unlawful dismissal from the ministry.
Esang, a graduate of Maths and Statistics, University of Calabar (UNICAL), before going into pastoral work, said although there was nothing wrong if his employers found his services no longer needed and laid him off, the church mandate/operational manual was not followed by “my persecutors”.
In suit No: NICN/CA/25/2022 between Esang as claimant and the presiding bishop of Living Faith Church Worldwide Incorporated, Bishop David Oyedepo, Pastor Adebisi Aboluwade and two other defendants, the applicant said he went to court to seek redress and to enable the authorities of the church to know how he was treated.
He said, “I was a member of the church for over a decade before training to become a pastor. At least, I have spent more than two decades in the ministry, that alone makes me a son to our general overseer, Bishop David Oyedepo.”
Esang who claimed to be an area pastor with 16 branches of the church in Calabar South under his auspices stated that he was unlawfully sacked by a cabal made up of one Pastor Tamunotoye Chukunda and the state pastor Adeolu Adewumi.
“According to the church Operational Mandate, before a pastor is sacked, he would first be queried with a letter and made to appear before a disciplinary committee to answer pertinent questions and thereafter be issued with three warnings before he can be issued a termination of appointment letter. In my case, nothing of such happened.
“Apart from the query that was issued, what followed immediately was a sacked letter without availing me the opportunity to appear before any disciplinary panel. The cabals headed by Pastor Adeolu and Pastor Chukunda connived and kicked out without following due process.
“The Mandate Book serves like a constitution of the organization, unfortunately it was never followed, probably because they didn’t like my face.
“Both of them cannot claim to be more of Bishop Oyedepo’s God sons than myself, we are all his children in the lord. No query letter was served to me. The only letter given to me by the cabals was a sacked letter and for a year now my salary has been stopped.
As I speak to you, I can’t even pay my children school fees nor pay my rent, or afford food, clothing and medicine for my kids,” Esang lamented.
Esang who claimed to have been a two-time councillor in one of the council wards in Apapa, Lagos State before picking an appointment as chief of staff to the Speaker of Cross River State House of Assembly before he took up pastoral work and got sacked, stated that the N350 million damages would help him sort himself out.
In a telephone interview, the state administrative officer of the church, Dcn Taiwo, denied all the allegations. He said due process was followed before Esang was disengaged.
“A query was served to him because of the way he was misbehaving. We are a responsible organisation, we couldn’t have sacked a man of God in the manner which he claimed.”
Findings by LEADERSHIP Friday revealed that the case would be heard on October 25, 2022 at National Industrial Court, Calabar.
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