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Controversy in Benue as Local Church receives N42million Tithe from Mystery Man

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Pastor Frederick Ikyaan and his wife

A man whose identity has been shielded by a local church in Makurdi, has shocked church members with a tithe offering of N42 million. Investigations by the News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) in Makurdi revealed that the money was paid into the UBA account of the NKST Church High Level, Makurdi.

Although the pastor of the church, Dr. Frederick Ikyaan, initially denied knowledge of the offering, a copy of the church’s quarterly financial report, covering the months of January – March, confirmed the payment of N42million tithe to the church. The report showed that the lodgement was the highest single offering from an individual for the quarter. The money was paid into the church’s account in January.

The breakdown of the church’s financial report showed an income of N56.2 million and an expenditure of N33.7 million within the same time frame. The church’s records also showed that out of the income, N44.6 million was generated from tithe offerings while a single person accounted for N42 million.

Reacting to the financial report, the pastor said his initial denial was based on the allegations that the donor was an appointee of the Benue government:

I still stand by my words that the person that gave us that money is not an appointee of the state government. In fact, he does not even stay in Benue but is an indigene of the state.

He said there was nothing wrong with the offering and insisted that the church had nothing to hide. Meanwhile, the tithe offering has stirred controversy in a state struggling to pay the salaries of workers. Public discussion centred on the legitimacy of the donors income, as a man who pays N42m to a church as tithe must have made an income of N420 million in the month that he paid.

The NKST Church is an abbreviation for ‘Non go Kristu U Sudan hen Tiv’, meaning the Church of Christ Amongst the Tiv

The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) was established by the Federal Government of Nigeria in May 1976 to gather and distribute news on Nigeria and cover events of interest to Nigeria at the international level for the benefit of the Nigerian Media and the Public.

13 Comments

  1. Ada_ugo

    April 15, 2017 at 1:26 am

    As far as I know, there is no threshold on the amount of tithe an individual can pay in Nigeria. Neither is there a law in NIgeria that dictates individuals declare the source of their income before paying tithes. Nigeria is a democratic state, but with the things that happen in the country and with the things that make headlines, if I didn’t know better, I would mistake it for a Socialist or Communist society. Nigerians need to learn to identify what the real culprits of the social and moral decay in the country are and learn to stop pursuing shadows. Anything to distract the people from the real problems is always welcomed with open arms. The best allegory I can think of for some Nigerians is many people fall under the Sheep category in George Orwell’s “Animal Farm” – just believe whatever “they” want you to believe – get distracted, and forget what the real issues are!

    • A Real Nigerian

      April 15, 2017 at 2:22 am

      “Nigerians need to learn to identify what the real culprits of the social and moral decay in the country are”
      So according to your comment, the real culprits aren’t those who (allegedly) steal and hoard public funds?
      What is your definition of morality and how come stealing isn’t something to be attributed to the moral decay you mentioned?

      “Anything to distract the people from the real problems is always welcomed with open arms.”
      Incompetence and corruption have always been the real issues facing the country so how is this not a real problem? N42 million to a church from an individual seems normal to you?

      What you wrote makes little sense and this really isn’t about Communism, Animal Farm or whatever you mentioned in an attempt to make your comment any less hollow.
      You are the one trying to distract us from the real problems either because you are incredibly gullible or yet another pretentious hypocrite pushing a questionable incident under the rug just because it involves the Church.

    • Ada_ugo

      April 15, 2017 at 2:45 am

      how can you prove that he stole the N42million? What if he had distributed N1million to 42 different churches, would he be under investigation? What if he had stolen N10,000 and paid N1,000 tithe. How about then? Would he be under investigation, or the money is too small? My point is people make a big deal out of unfounded claims simply based on sentiment and assumption, when there are several verifiable founded claims that they could be pursued instead.

    • A Real Nigerian

      April 15, 2017 at 3:29 am

      “What if he had distributed N1million to 42 different churches, would he be under investigation? What if he had stolen N10,000 and paid N1,000 tithe.”
      This is not the case though so I fail to see what this has to do with anything.

      “My point is people make a big deal out of unfounded claims simply based on sentiment and assumption, when there are several verifiable founded claims that they could be pursued instead.”
      Big deal out of unfounded claims? Is it entirely impossible that these unfounded claims end up being properly investigated and proved true? So why is this your argument?
      Why are you pretending that churches in Nigeria aren’t some of the biggest patronizers of corrupt officials? Why are you ignoring the fact that these churches don’t benefit a lot from stolen public funds?

      This is a country where government officials keep billions worth of cash in their homes while ≈70% of the population lives below poverty line and you’re surprised by people relying on sentiment and assumption to make a big deal out of the large-scale corruption that happens everyday? Especially when nothing ever comes out of the prosecution of the guilty parties? Well, sorry we only have our sentiments and armchair judgments to rely on.

      Finally, why are you so disturbed by the fact that people are making a big deal out of this? Are you somehow a beneficiary of the N42 million or what?
      Why do you want this to be overlooked? An allegation has been made and you are so desperate for it to be forgotten and thrown aside for “real problems”. Once again, I ask you, what are these real problems you speak of?

  2. Manny

    April 15, 2017 at 3:20 am

    Why the assumption that the tithe is on income generated in one month?

  3. Mina

    April 15, 2017 at 3:21 am

    If banks release information on churches accounts, people will just go crazy. Why was this released??? What’s the point????

    • John

      April 15, 2017 at 7:42 am

      @Mina. The point is that people would like to know the source of this donor’s income in this day and age when our common patrimony is being looted and stashed away. How much tax has this fellow paid to government? What kind of business is he/she into? Is the business legitimate?
      You find people parading so much wealth around and yet they don’t have a place where toothpick is manufactured. This society is anything but normal and I think government needs to look into people’s source of so much wealth. Some folks think that they can buy salvation for their thriving souls and we should not allow them et away with it.

    • John

      April 15, 2017 at 7:44 am

      Typo…..thieving, not thriving!!

  4. Yoyo

    April 15, 2017 at 5:02 am

    In western nations for the sake of transparency tithes and offerings are reoported in income tax returns. That is one check and balance. Another level of checks is that banks use KYC (know your customer) questions to check the source of funds. Suspicious activity or amounts above a certain threshold trigger banks to report to fraud and financial crimes. In Naija there is little to no oversight so this 42million that someone is claiming as tithe may be yahoo money,drug money,stolen govt funds etc and nobody will ever know if it us legit or not!

  5. Nakoms

    April 15, 2017 at 6:33 am

    That money was paid into the church’s account so that it can laundered.
    Churches has become a huge repository for stolen public funds and the EFCC needs to throw it’s searchlight on religious bodies.

    • Nakoms

      April 15, 2017 at 6:37 am

      Have

  6. Tobi

    April 15, 2017 at 7:44 am

    Personally I feel that all suspect money laundering activities should be investigated thoroughly, especially in the present economic situation in the country. Corruption is endemic in Nigeria and it cuts across different institutions. It’s multifaceted and a multifaceted approach to dealing with it should be welcome.. Gone are the daze when religious organisations use the Lords name in vain and hid behind it to commit all sorts of atrocities. Accountability and transparency is needed.

  7. Taiwo

    April 18, 2017 at 10:15 am

    Ahhhhhhh!! A whistle blower has come to give thanks!

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