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Fact Check: Did Peter Obi Bribed Nigerian Pastors With 2 Billion Naira?

Claim about Peter Obi bribing churches and pastors with 2 billion naira debunked by pastor Frank Onwumere as false.

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Since launching his bid for the presidency, Peter Obi, the chosen candidate of the Nigerian Labour Party, has made a point to connect with faith-based organizations by personally visiting a multitude of churches and meeting with various pastors across Nigeria.

He has graced the halls of some of Nigeria’s largest places of worship, including Living Faith Church Worldwide and Dunamis International Gospel Centre, with the purpose of offering reverence and worship to God.

Nonetheless, during many of his visits to the churches, he was frequently acknowledged and praised, with some of the churches even encouraging their congregants to cast their ballots based on character, competence, and capability.

However, not long after his 36-state and Federal Capital Territory campaign tour, allegations began to circulate on social media that Peter Obi had offered bribes to Nigerian churches and pastors, with the amount allegedly totaling 2 billion naira. A document purporting to be a petition from Pastor Frank Onwumere of Dunamis International Gospel Centre in Imo state to the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN) regarding the misappropriation of funds went viral, adding fuel to these claims.

Peter Obi
Peter Obi

In the aftermath of Peter Obi’s successful campaign visit to Lagos, several Twitter accounts affiliated with the ruling opposition party, the All Progressive Congress (APC), began sharing information about the alleged petition document from a pastor in the southeast region. The posts often contrasted the reported amount that Peter Obi supposedly gave to churches under the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), Catholic Bishop, and the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN).

“Apparently, churches are fighting one another over an alleged N2billion given to them by Peter Obi for the purpose of driving his mandate in churches,” one Tinubu die-hard supporter wrote on February 11. We no dey spend shishi indeed”

“BREAKING NEWS: Labour party candidate Peter Gregory Obi paid churches 2 billion naira to convince their congregation to vote for him,” wrote another user, Atiku, a die-hard fan, on February 12.

The claim was widely circulated on several prominent social media platforms, including Facebook, Tiktok, WhatsApp, Instagram, and Telegram, taking on different forms and iterations as it was shared.

The claim about Peter Obi’s N2 billion bribe was amplified by APC social media users, including prominent political influencers and questionable news websites. However, a fact-check conducted by MandyNews.com revealed that its origins are highly questionable and lack credibility.

A number of tweets, including those from Qudus, a known Tinubu supporter, accused Peter Obi of being a bigoted individual who seeks to manipulate Christians for his personal gain.

The source of these tweets, which claimed “BREAKING NEWS: Labour party candidate Peter Gregory Obi paid churches 2 billion naira to convince their congregation to vote for him,” is not specified. However, a review by MandyNews revealed that they were posted around the same time by individuals affiliated with the APC and supporters of Bola Ahmed Tinubu.

https://twitter.com/Qdpaper2/status/1624662558119546881

The tweet failed to provide any links to articles from credible Nigerian media outlets, and a search for the claim did not yield any relevant results. A forensic investigation by MandyNews.com revealed that the document was edited. Further examination of the information in the document revealed that it was created by a graphic designer named Wisdom Graphics News JGI, as indicated by a Truecaller search.

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Fact Check: Did Peter Obi Bribed Nigerian Pastors With 2 Billion Naira? 68

MandyNews attempted to contact the graphic designer, Wisdom Graphics News JGI, as well as some supporters of the All Progressive Congress party, for a comment but received no reply.

Therefore, the aforementioned viral document states:

“CENTREOMINION CINTERNATIONot 35 Okigwe Road OwernPresident,DOMINION CENTRE INTERNATIONALHead Office: Plot 35 Okigwe Road, Owerri, Imo State Email: dominioncentre@gmail.comPhone: (+234) 8181884999, (+234) 7010147818Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), National Christian Centre,Central Business District (CBD),P.M.B 260 Garki,Abuja, FCT.15th December, 2022CHRISTIAN ASSOCIATION OFNIGERIA (CAN)PMB, 250, Garkal Area 22 DEC 2022 RECEIVEDSign.Dear Sir,PETITION ON THE MISAPPROPRIATION OF N2 BILLION GIVEN BY THE PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE OF LABOUR PARTY, MR. PETER OBI, TO THE CHURCHES UNDER THE UMBRELLA OF CAN, CATHOLIC BISHOPS AND THE PENTECOSTAL FELLOWSHIP OF NIGERIA (PEN): TO FURTHER DRIVE HIS MANDATE DURING THE YULETIDE SEASON IN CHURCHES AND TO BE RECEIVED IN AUDIENCE BY THE VARIOUS CHRISTIAN BODIES ACROSS THE COUNTRY.With reference to the above and sequel to the meeting convened by my Church Dominion Centre International as Senior Pastor and few other churches within our locality of the Imo State metropolis on the raging misappropriation of N2 Billion disbursed by Mr. Peter Obi, Presidential Candidate of the Labour Party to the various Christian organizations, on behalf of our district of the PFN, we do hereby petition the President of the Christian Association of Nigeria (CAN), while other bodies duly served under the leadership of the Most Rev. Daniel Chukwudumebi Okoh expressing our disappointment, displeasure and disbelief of how the said funds were disbursed to mega churches, affluent Pentecostal churches, televangelists and renowned popular names of the Christendom.We are appalled and disappointed that such humongous amount of money was given to the church by the Labour party to help and assist in mobilizing and convincing their congregation to vote massively for the candidacy of Mr. Peter Obi but to our chagrin, the said sum of money has developed wings and cannot be traced, as we have it on good authority, that it has been fleeced by mega churches and popular pastors and leaders who already as we write, are receiving the presidential candidate across the length and breadth of Nigeria without due consideration to other churches that have not received their own part of the funds.Sir, our grievances and anger are summarized in the questions below that need urgent answers and attention from CAN, PFN and Catholic Bishops of Nigeria. If our questions are not attended to, we would be forced to address a World Press Conference, for the world to know what is happening in the Christendom in Nigeria.”

“Why would the Christian body of leaders collect a humongous amount of N2 billion on behalf of the entire Christendom and not remit/disburse same funds for the purposes of which the funds were meant?Why would the Christian body go against the laid down procedures including against the Independent National Electoral Commission mandate (INEC) against party politics and engagement of candidate especially in the issue of religion and collecting funds from the backdoor.From our investigations so far, few Catholics Bishops denied the knowledge for the disbursement while others were carried along but the funds were shared on different terms based on the congregation of fellowship and the popularity of the pastor/bishop in charge..Some Pentecostal churches denied knowledge of the funds that they are yet to receive theirs while few others said the money, were only given and disbursed to mega churches and popular TV Evangelists of the Pentecostal faith. However, we were told that the Redeemed Church, Winners and Dunamis churches were all in the know but refused any partisanship of the funds disbursement. We have it on good authority that other Pentecostal churches and little known pastors felt short- changed and are calling that heads must roll and that the world must hear this and know what is happening in the Christendom.That the main purpose of the funds of N2 Billion disbursed by Mr. Peter Obi was to assunge the church for mobilization during this year end so as to allow him audience, to solicit for votes from the churches, while the various church leaders will also instruct their congregations to vote for him massively for the presidential elections, using this month of December to tour the various bodies of churches based on the funds disbursed. Accordingly, sir, the money was not used adequately nor was it disbursed transparently by the various church organs, as the leaders that have received theirs are earnestly waiting and soliciting for dates with their various bodies to host the august visitor in their respective churches..We gathered that some churches are asking for a visiting fee of about N50 million and above so as to ask their congregation to vote for Mr. Peter Obi during the presidential elections.Sir, we are of the opinion, that if such a monumental scandal rocks the church in Nigeria which has become the last hope and opium of the people, it will go down memory lane that it happened during your leadership and tenure and as such, we respectfully ask for our own share of the funds to enable us receive the presidential candidate and his team to our respective churches.While we ask for transparency, equity and justice on the above subject matter, sir, we ask that we stick to the original plan meant for the funds and that all churches of different denomination under the various organs should as a matter of fact receive their dues and funding, if not, we will be forced to write a petition to all the anti-graft agencies and the Ministry of Interior for justice to be done. As this is not the first time such an incident has occurred.”

“We are also using this medium to say that we are ready not to rock the boat as this largesse will go a long way to assist the various churches at this end of the year due to the harsh economic realities.We further use this medium to advise Mr. President of CAN to call on all Christian bodies and organs across the country to always consult one another and all other smaller churches when the need arises for any important issue to be tabled or discussed especially when it concerns funds ofthis nature.Yours faithfully.Pastor Frank OnwumereDominion Centre International.”

Following attempts to contact the alleged pastor mentioned in the document, Frank Onwumere publicly discredited the falsehoods spread by supporters of the All Progressive Congress and the People’s Democratic Party regarding Peter Obi. As observed by MandyNews.com, he took to his Facebook page to discredit the church letter that claimed he received 2 billion naira from Peter.

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Fact Check: Did Peter Obi Bribed Nigerian Pastors With 2 Billion Naira? 69

The Ruling:

MandyNews.com fact Check
Fact Check: Did Peter Obi Bribed Nigerian Pastors With 2 Billion Naira? 70

Based on the investigation conducted by MandyNews, the claim that Peter Obi bribed Nigerian pastors with 2 billion Naira has been debunked as false. The supposed document that went viral on social media was found to have been edited and the signature belonging to a graphic designer, Wisdom Graphics News JGI. The pastor named in the document, Frank Onwumere, also publicly debunked the claim on his Facebook page. Thus, this claim can be ruled as false and without any credible evidence.

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Source: MandyNews.com

I have a passion for blogging about what's trending in Hip-Hop, politics and entertainment. I'm a huge Hip-hop fan; my favorite artiste are Chris Brown, Jay'z & Beyonce. I also enjoy spending time with my team (#TeamWE), and working hard as hard work pays off.

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