Rich and flamboyant, Mr Oyedepo just lately stated cash had by no means been an issue for his church. That is the story of the family-owned firm primarily based in BVI.
After Chris Oyakhilome of Christ Embassy and the late Temitope Joshua, the founding father of Synagogue Church of All Nations, David Oyedepo, the founder and common overseer of Dwelling Religion Church Worldwide, is the most recent Nigerian mega-preacher discovered to have arrange a household offshore firm within the British Virgin Islands.
Mr Oyedepo’s offshore firm popped up as a part of the continued world Pandora Papers reporting mission, led by the Worldwide Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) and through which PREMIUM TIMES is a key participant.
The mission concerned 600 journalists from 150 information organisations all over the world sorting and analysing a trove of virtually 12 million confidential information, monitoring down and interviewing sources, and including context utilizing public information and different paperwork.
The leaked information had been retrieved from some offshore companies companies all over the world that arrange shell corporations and different offshore entities for shoppers, lots of them influential politicians, enterprise individuals, and criminals searching for to hide their monetary dealings.
In August 2007 Mr Oyedepo contracted the companies of Enterprise Centrum Restricted, a London-based agent, to assist him arrange an organization within the notorious tax haven for him and his fast household.
Enterprise Centrum subsequently subcontracted Trident Belief Group, one of many world’s main secrecy enablers and one of the crucial infamous suppliers of offshore company and monetary companies.
The corporate, Zadok Investments Restricted, was arrange on August 20, 2007 with 50,000 abnormal shares with a worth of $1.00 every.
Though the administrators of the corporate are Mr Oyedepo and his two sons – David (junior) and Isaac, each member of Mr Oyedepo’s household are listed as shareholders.
Mr Oyedepo and his wife, Religion, are the most important shareholders with 30 % of shares every
His youngsters – David (junior), who in 2016 was appointed resident pastor of the headquarters of the church, generally known as Religion Tabernacle, has 10 % whereas Isaac, who’s the resident pastor of the church’s department in Maryland, the USA of America, additionally has 10 per cent of the shares.
Love and Pleasure – the 2 daughters of the cleric – had been equally given 10 % shares every.
The paperwork didn’t reveal the precise companies and transactions the offshore firm was set as much as conduct. The entity nevertheless seems to be the household’s funding car underneath which the household’s wealth is warehoused for offshore administration.
When reached by way of his private e-mail handle, Mr Oyedepo didn’t reply to questions despatched to him searching for his feedback.
We additionally despatched the inquiries to the publicised emails of his church, together with that of the church’s department in Maryland. A number of the emails returned undelivered whereas we didn’t obtain any response for those who delivered.
The phone quantity Mr Oyedepo listed in firm paperwork failed to attach.
Mr Oyedepo might have tapped the identify of his offshore firm from the Bible. In accordance with the books of two Samuel, 1 King and Ezekiel, Zadok was a loyal priest to the biblical King David.
He was instrumental in serving to David suppress the insurrection of his son, Absalom.
And he was additionally useful to the enthronement of Solomon as David’s successor being that he was the priest that anointed Solomon’s head with oil at Gihon, which successfully made him his father’s successor.
After Solomon constructed the temple in Jerusalem, Zadok was the primary excessive priest of the temple.
An entrepreneurial cleric
Whereas the cache of paperwork didn’t reveal what kind of enterprise the corporate was arrange for, among the paperwork revealed that the corporate was nonetheless lively not less than as just lately as 2016 when Trident Belief filed a decision of the corporate’s board revalidating its record of administrators.
In the meantime, Mr Oyedepo, who felt “insulted” by his $150 million valuation by Forbes Journal in 2011, is likely one of the essential proponents of prosperity gospel in Christendom and encapsulates this by his myriad of entrepreneurial endeavours.
“Some fellow stated we’re price $150 million, I stated that’s an insult. $150 million? That’s an insult. I’m price Philippians 4:19”, he stated whereas referring to the Forbes valuation.
Philippians 4:19 reads: “And my God will meet all of your wants in line with the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
Just lately, whereas reacting to reviews that among the church’s pastors had been sacked with out advantages, Mr Oyedepo, who described the sacked pastors as “unfruitful” and “blatant failure”, stated his church had by no means lacked cash.
“Cash? Nonsense! We’ve by no means lacked it and but we’ve by no means prayed for it. We’re simply merely obeying God and he’s backing up what he asks us to do.”
“Obedience will flip you to a residing marvel. Simply obey God. Have you ever seen us increase a prayer level of Oh God ship us cash?,” he requested later through the speech.
Exterior his evangelical work, he’s primarily generally known as the founding father of one among Nigeria’s most costly universities, Covenant College. He additionally owns Landmark College, in Omu-Aran, Kwara State.
He additionally owns Religion Academy Restricted alongside his wife, Religion. Religion Academy Restricted is the corporate that runs the intellectual boarding secondary college that goes by the identical identify.
Mr Oyedepo can also be identified for his acquisition of not less than 4 personal jets which incorporates, a Gulfstream V jet, stated to be price not less than $30 million, two different Gulfstream planes and a Bombardier Challenger plane, which he operates utilizing one other of his corporations, Dominion Air Restricted.
Dominion Air Restricted was arrange in 2005 and his second son, Isaac, is listed as one among its administrators.
Mr Oyedepo can also be the proprietor of Hebron Oil Restricted and a slew of different companies principally positioned in his Canaanland property in Ota, Ogun State.
One other firm, Biblematch Media Restricted, has David Oluwamakinde Oyedepo and Olukemi Omolola Oyedepo as administrators.
Nigerian pastors and tax havens
PREMIUM TIMES had in 2013 reported how Chris Oyakhilome, one among Africa’s hottest pastors, secretly included Gmobile Nigeria, Restricted, an offshore firm for his household within the British Virgin Islands.
A enterprise affiliate of the pastor informed this newspaper on the time that some administrators within the firm held shares on behalf of the pastor’s daughters, Sharon and Charlyn, who had been then youngsters.
The shareholders listed within the paperwork included Oyakhilome’s wife on the time, Anita; one other pastor in his group, Thomas Amenkhienan; a enterprise affiliate, Aigobomian Inegbedion; and one other British Virgin Islands firm, GTMT Worldwide Group Restricted.
In 2016, one other standard pastor, T.B. Joshua, was additionally uncovered for secretly organising an offshore enterprise entity.
Recordsdata obtained by PREMIUM TIMES from the huge leaked information of a Panamanian regulation agency, Mossack Fonseca, had proven that Mr Joshua and his wife, Evelyn, owned Chillon Consultancy Restricted, an organization included on June 20, 2006 on the British Virgin Island (BVI).
Each house owners owned one abnormal share every, though the corporate, with registration quantity 1033675, was authorised to situation a most “50,000 no par worth Shares of a single class.”
The pastor died on June 5, this 12 months, and his wife has been battling some congregation members over the administration of the church’s belongings.