THE Diocese of Ekiti West Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has ordered the Vicar of Saint Paul’s Millennium Church, Owa Ekiti, Rev. Michael Ogunniyi, to proceed on compulsory retirement for an alleged act of insubordination against the Bishop of the diocese.
Ogunniyi was embroiled in controversy with the Bishop of the Diocese, Rt. Rev. Samuel Oludare Oke, over the manner the church spent the N5 million donated to it by the state governor, Dr. Kayode Fayemi, during the burial of the Primate of Anglican Church, Most Reverend Abiodun Adetiloye, at Odo Owa Ekiti in January 19, this year.
But the embattled clergy, through the Church Provincial Council, CPC, said the money was used to purchase a bus for evangelism and for renovation of the church.
It was reported, however, that the Bishop had advised against spending the money on the ground that it was a donation for endowment that must be utilised prudently.
As part of sanctioning the Vicar, the Bishop had earlier demoted him from Archdeacon to Canon before his present travail.
According to the statement jointly signed by Prince Sola Adetule and Otunba Kunle Olasope, the Diocesan Communicator and Emeritus Communicator respectively, the diocese took the decision to save the office of the Bishop from embarrassment.
According to the statement, the diocese equally passed a vote of confidence in the Bishop of Ekiti West, Most Rev Oludare Oke, for the effective way he managed the affairs of the Diocese.
Going by the statement, Ogunniyi is to proceed on leave by May 31 and retire fully in August 31.
Defending its action, the diocese noted that Rev Ogunniyi had earlier been demoted from the rank of Archdeacon to Canon, and that whoever suffers demotion in this manner would be retired by Anglican law.
The church, however, used the opportunity to distance itself from the rumour circulating that the authority had demoted the Odo Owa Church, assuring that the church still enjoys its status.
Reacting to the development, Rev Ogunniyi, told Vanguard that he had accepted his retirement in good faith, calling on the church members to embrace peace.