Bishop David Oyedepo
The Living Faith Church otherwise known as as Winners Chapel is rocked with crisis as some pastors and officials of the church in Calabar have distanced themselves from the petition sacking one of its pastors
The Church had on November 18, 2021 dismissed one of its Pastors, Dominion Esang based on an 11 points petition said to have been written by some Pastors and officials of the church, (Timothy Ekpenyong, Uwem Sampson Ezekiel, Mrs. Confidence Okokon, Daniel Obong and Imelda Osim) alleging that Pastor Esang indulged in, “Fornication and cohabiting with different women, deceiving the Church at resumption, Living with a woman not married to, and cohabiting with other women and impregnating one last year, Forceful change of name from Fidelis Esang Mbang to Dominion Winner Esang due to criminal record associated with the name and being wanted for financial fraud, Leaving of former Church (Assembly of God Church) under suspension due to financial fraud, Forge of fake marriage certificate for successful enlistment into full time ministry” and others.
However the five officials of the church in a letter dated May 23, 2023 to Pastor Esang have disassociated themselves from the petition and allegations against Pastor Esang saying, “the so called and claimed petition which is supposed to be an official document with weighty allegations against you does not have a DATE and the YEAR it was written and as such, should be completely disregarded and not be taken seriously. We never wrote any petition against you neither were sse part of the team that wrote the so called petition.
“That the names and phone numbers on the so called petition is ours but our signatures were forged by whoever that wrote the petition against you. Which as our formal Resident Pastor, we believe that you have some documents carrying our real and original signatures we signed with you while still serving as our Resident Pastor. We totally and completely reject, debunk and disassociate ourselves completely from the so called petition which we learnt that it is even before the national industrial court.
“That if winners chapel as a commission has anything whatsoever against Pastor Dominion Esang, they should go ahead and justify their claims and case rather than brining falsehood and dragging us into a matter we are not part of nor concerns us. This is our stand on the ongoing matter before the national industrial court” .
Pastor Dominion Esang in his reply to the allegations against him said, “having listed all of the allegations against me, permit me to state the following that from the number 1 allegation to the 10th one are all baseless, satanic lies that cannot be proven with fact and does not represent me in any way as I did not commit any of such offence neither will I ever do such. I hereby debunk all of this allegations in totality” .
Esang accordingly instituted a suit through his Counsel, Mr. Ozinko Ozinko, dragging the Church, it’s founder, Bishop David Oyedepo and four others to the
National Industrial Court sitting in Calabar rejecting his sack and seeking a declaration of court that, “the unlawful act of dismissal,: termination of the contract of employment of the claimant without fair hearing and regards to the due process of law is unlawful and amounts to a clear violation of labour law in that regards entitling the claimant to damages.
“General damages of N350,000,000 only for unlawful dismissal and Defamation of character and an order of court declaring their actions of terminating the claimant’s employment as null, void and of no effect whatsoever”.
An order of court “compelling the defendants to make a public apology to the claimant and publication in two national dailies and one local Newspaper within jurisdiction over the defamation of his character” .
When the matter came up on July 19, before Justice Sanusi Kado it was adjourned to October 31 for hearing and when the matter earlier came up on May 6, 2023 the Counsel to the church and others, Dr Idaka Idaka pleaded with the court to grant them time to amend their processes and that was granted and in the amended processes they said in their counter claim that they are representing Oyedepo and others and N3 million should be paid to them as damage.