The Bishop of Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion), Ekiti West Diocese, Rt. Revd. Oludare Oke, has compulsorily retired the Vicar of St. Paul’s Millennium Anglican Church, Odo Owa Ekiti, Revd. Michael Ogunniyi.
Ogunniyi was faulted by the bishop for allegedly administering the donation made to the church without an approval from him.
The sacking of the vicar was contained in a statement by the Diocesan Communicator, Mr. Sola Adetule, and Emeritus Communicator, Dr. Kunle Olasope, on Tuesday.
The bishop also appointed the Dean of the Cathedral, Very Revd. Julius Olaosebikan as supervisor of Odo Owa until Ogunniyi would bow out.
Governor Kayode Fayemi, had on January 25 donated N5m to St. Paul’s Millennium Church during the funeral of the late Primate of the church, Archbishop Abiodun Adetiloye. The governor said that the money was meant for the furtherance of evangelism.
The bishop had instructed that the money be put in a fixed deposit and used as an endowment fund.
But the vicar in consultation with the Provincial Church Council of St. Paul’s Millennium Church bought a bus with N3m for the purpose of evangelism and used N1m to renovate the church, while the balance was deposited in the church’s account.
The action angered the Bishop, who later demoted the Vicar from an archdeacon to a cannon.
The demotion was said to have led to a protest from members of the church who were in support of the Vicar. They prevented Sunday service from being held on February 17.
The diocesan board in the statement said the governor announced that the N5m was an endowment fund.
It added that that the Vvcar’s action did not only constitute a disobedience to the bishop but it was also a violation of the diocesan policy that no archdeacon should incur expenses in excess of N1 million without an approval of the bishop.
The statement read in part, “The vicar has of recent behaved in a disappointing way which was tantamount to inefficiency, incompetence, disloyalty, canonical disobedience, betrayal, dereliction of duty and general unruliness. In these he had declared himself unfit for the position he occupied.
“The question of Vicar Ogunniyi is therefore strictly a matter of discipline which must be maintained if the person, position and authority of bishop is not to be rubbished and dragged in the mire.
“The matter was discussed at the diocesan board meeting held at Our Saviour’s Anglican Church Ipoti Ekiti on Friday March 1, 2013. At that meeting, the bishop handed over to Canon Ogunniyi a letter of compulsory retirement, giving him six months notice to expire on August 31, 2013.”
The board also passed a vote of confidence on the bishop while daring church members who had threatened to drag the bishop to court to go ahead.
However, Ogunniyi told our correspondent on the telephone that although he was due for retirement in 2017, he had accepted the retirement in good faith.
He urged the church members to embrace peace in order not to hinder the work of God.
Ogunniyi, 68, said the church had been making efforts to buy a bus for evangelism in the past 15 years, adding that he did the right thing by acceding to the demands of the church council to buy the vehicle.