A curious corner of the Church of Nigeria

Bishop Peter Imasuen of Benin

The Diocese of Benin in the Anglican Church of Nigeria seems a troubled place. And I was intrigued to find they have an official Dir. Of Security/Protocol, the Revd Canon Nosa Ben-Shallom. I wonder how many other Dioceses in the Communion have a director of security?

But I guess they need it. In October 2008 police protection was sought apparently because Igbo worshippers wanted exclusive control of a Church in Benin City. The church was shut down:

It was observed that the presence of plainclothes security men, the men of the Special Anti-robbery squad and the conventional policemen led by the Divisional Police Officer of the New Benin Police Station, Mr. Joseph Omoruwa, a Superintendent of Police, prevented the breakdown of law and order in the church.

Besides, the owner of a security outfit in Benin, Mr. Efe Stewart, who said he is the Chief Security Officer of the Anglican Diocese in Benin, was on the ground with his men and some of the youth to secure the church and indeed all other Anglican Church properties in the diocese. (emphasis added.)

The protesting youths who carried placards condemned what they described as undue ethnicity in the Church of Christ some of which read, “No to Christian tribalism, No to Igbo seizure of Anglican Church, Christians arise against ungodly behavior, Anglican Church is for all, not for Igbos alone.”

Before then, however, one church leader had alledged that Bishop Peter Imasuen had threatened his life which led to the police interrogating the Bishop. All here.

Another, longer and dramatic, account of the conflict (from October 2008) concludes that only the security forces could prevent the outbreak of wide tribal conflict and 'the total breakdown of law and order in the state'. It reports the

mobilisation of the youths to disrupt the service of the church for two Sundays, vandalising the church signboard and deflating the tyres of the church bus because of the refusal of the Vicar to allow the inscription “Igbo Speaking’ on the church bus, because according to him, it always subjects him to derision whenever he uses the bus.

Between 1995 and at least 2001 it seemed there had also been ethnically charged conflict in the Church this time between Bini and non-Bini members, apparently resulting some non-Bini members leaving the Anglican Church (here).

But what caught my eye was a report in the last few days of a court case against senior Anglicans for printing material defaming the Bishop. The allegation, made last year, is that the Bishop made a church member, Gladys Adetokhai pregnant and then procured an abortion for her.

Those in the dock are notable: Dr Abel Guobadia is a past Ambassador to South Korea and a past Chairman of the Independent National Electoral Commission and Samuel Uroghide described as a prominent Benin lawyer (here). The case proceeds.

Not a happy place.


  1. Anonymous30/7/09

    Bishop Peter O.J Imasuen is not a real man of God as he claims,that's the reason why the people are crying for the creation of a new diocese out of the present Benin diocese.

    For instance in the bishop court now there are things purchased for the court but as at today they are not there imasuen and his wife have transferred them to their two houses which he built in this five years of office.

    As a man of God which he claim he is, his primary functions is to care for the church not steeling from the church to build houses.
    he is also know as the chairman of tugs and cult boys because this was the people he used for security in the bishop at the time he was having crises with the ibo church.

    The people who are on his side, saying we don't need a new diocese they are pretenders they don't want to say the truth.

    The diocesan chancellor is new in the Anglican communion and has not know the other side of imasuen that's the major reason i think he supports imasuen.

    When you see him for the first time you think he is a good man because of the way he speaks but people should beware of him that's not the real Bishop peter imasuen. the real peter is a man that uses chams, his wife normally attend spiritual home to acquire dark power, it can work on some people but not me Mrs gladies imasuen.

    She also use dead chicken to prepare food for priest in clergy meetings. Primate of all Nigeria are you sleeping why do you allow the people of Benin diocese to surfer do something fast.

    Rt. Rev. Peter O.J Imasuen, if you are wise you need to step aside but surely you will not go unpunished.

    That is my prayer for you

  2. Anonymous8/8/09

    Bishop Imasuen you need to be probed by the EFCC.

    out of your selfish interest you don't want a new diocese to be created out of the current Benin diocese.

    I want you to have it in mind that you will not live forever one day you will surely die and leave that post why are you giving yourself bad name?

    well i understand you are from a poor background and you want to still all the church funds by all means, i sorry for you because you dont have wisdom.

    i am very happy your younger brother is here with us at immanuel college of theology ibadan i believe you are preparing him to continue from were you stooped i promise you he will surfer in the ministry because you already have a bad name

  3. Who is this Peter, That is the son of a poor capenter that has no connections in our Nigeria that was a youth ministry Rev. Out of nowhere, he was catapulted to the Post of Bishop. The first ever Edo Speaking Bishop, the youngest ever in the long history of the bening Diocese.
    I was born into the anglican Church Benin Diocese almost fifty years ago. I know this Diocese.
    I am amazed that christians would speak all this evil about the Lords choosen. yes what else can we attribute his selection over many well connected, from the right families, older, and richer clergy who were considered. he was not even the Oba of benin's preferred candidate. This is important stuff if you understand that this is the Oba's main church apart from the orthodox Holy Arosa.
    Even if you do not believe that he is the Lord's choosen, how can a believing christian say these things!!
    You have arisen an interest in me about this Bishop hence I just researched him further and already some have started confessing today about their conspiracy against him. This is the high and mighty we are talking about, already a former ambassador and former INEC chairman, Dr. Goubadia and prominennt citizens in Benin are being implicated I I write.
    The Lord will grant you wisdom to not allow the political and evil machine use you to speak against the Lord's annointed. His name is Peter and he is the son of a capenter. God Bless you.

    Barrister Edirisiagbon.

  4. Anonymous1/9/09

    My dear Barister with all due respect how do you qualify a man choosen by God? is it the way they dress or the way they talk or because they preach good sermons or the way they lie to people on the pulpit.

    And were you there when the respected Oba of Benin brougth out a cadidate to be a Bishop?

    I dont think you are a good lawyer sorry for that, anyway the reason i said so is that you do not have an evidence that proved that the omo nor Oba had his own candidate for the Bishop sit.

    Please i want you to investigate properly before making any statement OK.

    I am not working for any body, can any person pay me to write well i dont think so.

    well that great day will come when every man sin will be brought out in the open then you will see those who realy are the God's choosen.

    The Lord will grant you wisdom to not allow the political and evil machine in the Bishop Court use you to speak against the Lord's choosen Oba. His name is Aisiokuoba so bewear and he is your Oba, have that in your mind. God Bless you.
    lest i forget say hi to your Bishop