TB Joshua was to be arraigned, but he fled – Soyinka

Prof Wole Soyinka
Wole Soyinka

Nobel laureate Prof Wole Soyinka has revealed that he had a conversation with a former governor of Lagos State to arraign the late founder of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) Prophet TB Joshua.

Soyinka stated this on Thursday at the PUNCH 50th anniversary public lecture themed ‘Recovering the Narrative’.

The renowned playwright was speaking about Nigeria being religion-saturated when he recalled the controversy caused by the BBC documentary on Joshua released in January.

In the documentary, some of Joshua’s former disciples accused him of sexual abuse, forced abortion, fake miracles, and torture among others.

On September 12, 2014, a guesthouse collapsed in the SCOAN’s premises in Lagos killing at least 115 people, 84 of them were South Africans. The interviewees in the BBC documentary said Joshua told the church the guesthouse was bombed.

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Speaking at the PUNCH event, Soyinka said: “Considering religion-saturated environment here, perhaps the nearest expression for description is that creativity is akin to the phenomenon of spiritual possession. Oh! That brings me to the recent hullabaloo occasioned by a BBC documentary on the religious enterprise rampaging across our dear nation.

“I took some time to study that man, TB Joshua, while he was still alive.

“I discussed him with the then-governor of Lagos, who had plans to tell them to put him on trial. But then he took off and I think he ended up in Latin America, which is beginning to rival Nigeria for miracles and wonders, and packed theatre on stage, on television for people in possession and being cursed, and vomiting snakes and…all other kinds of illicit aspects of Nigerian spirituality. Leave BBC alone.”