A leadership crisis has engulfed the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), three months after the death of its founder Prophet TB Joshua.
Joshua, who died on June 5, a week to his 58th birthday reportedly did not lay down a clear line of succession before his demise.
The Arigidi-Akoko born clergy was buried inside his megachurch in the Ikotun area of Lagos on July 9.
On Thursday, September 9, exactly two months after the burial, a federal high court sitting in Lagos approved the appointment of Joshua’s widow Evelyn Joshua as a trustee of the church.
Justice Tijjani Ringim gave the approval while ruling on a petition by some members of the church.
In their petition, the church members argued that the two surviving members of the board of trustees lacked the legal capacity to make decisions necessary to move the church forward.
Following the court’s ruling, the church announced the appointment of Mrs. Joshua as its new leader in a Facebook post on September 12.
By then, there were reports that some senior members of the church were evicted from their residence over allegations of fraud.
Those affected, however, accused Joshua’s wife of victimization.
Reacting, the church said its leadership only took steps to secure certain critical assets through a comprehensive audit.
“This inventory involved some category of church workers including Disciples and it is being carried out objectively under a regular and absolutely normal environment without any harassment of persons,” the statement said.
In an acceptance speech posted on Twitter on September 13, Mrs. Joshua made a rallying call to the church members and partners, declaring that her husband remained the founder and general overseer and she was only the leader.
Meanwhile, there are indications that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has invited 20 disciples of Joshua’s for questioning over alleged fraud.
Those invited allegedly seized the church immediately after the founder died and didn’t want his wife to be part of the church.
A source also told The Guardian newspaper that contact information on Joshua’s four mobile phones was wiped off weeks after his death.
On Tuesday, September 14, a group identified as the Global Congress of SCOAN Members (GCSM) in a statement described Mrs. Joshua’s emergence as leader as fraudulent.
The aggrieved members accused her of commercialising church activities.
“We are worried about the emergence of Mrs. Evelyn Joshua, the wife of the late founder who made a unilateral declaration of herself as the new leader of the Church.
“She claimed a congregation of 2000 Church members appointed her. This is ridiculous: Where did the meeting hold? Was it through a Yes vote? Was it through election? Was it through ‘anointing’ by the 2000 members?
“Where is the resolution of the 2000 members? Can 2000 members pick a successor in a Church with millions of members all over the world in five continents? What is the constitution of the Church? Was it followed?” parts of the statement by the aggrieved members read.