The suspension of the Canada-based Bishop of the Anglican Diocese of the Trinity, The Rt Rev Olukayode Adebogun by the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion has taken a new dimension.
This time, the bishop through his lawyer Mr. Femi Falana has written to the primate of the Church, The Most Rev Henery Ndukuba. He is alleging defamation of character and also threatening to seek legal redress and claim damages to the tune of N1 billion
The letter dated February 1 addressed the issue of Adebogun’s suspension. It was titled, Re: Letter of suspension as bishop of the Church of Nigeria, and CONNAM missionary Bishop of Canada Missionary Region Area 1.
Falana wrote, “Your Grace referred to the series of utterances attributed to our client “that seek to undermine the authority of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria and the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria with regard to the Church of Nigeria Mission in North America and Canada generally”.
“Your Grace also referred to the series of utterances and actions attributed to our client “in disobedience of and designed to undermine the express lawful directives and authority of the Primate of the Church of Nigeria and the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria with regard to decisions lawfully taken by the General Synod of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)”.
“However, Your Grace concluded that “These utterances and actions if found to be true constitute acts of canonical disobedience in breach of the provisions of Section 22 of Chapter Ill of the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion)”.
“The clear meaning of the conclusion of Your Grace is that it has not been established that the alleged utterances and actions emanated from our client pursuant to article XVI of the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).
Read also: Anglican Church, Bishop Adebogun, and the Challenge of ADOTT: https://churchtimesnigeria.net/anglican-church-bishop-adebogun-and-the-challenge-of-adott/
“Curiously, Your Grace turned round to suspend our client as a Bishop of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) without any scintilla of evidence whatsoever. Apart from the egregious infringement of the fundamental right of our client to a fair hearing, Your Grace lacks the power to unilaterally suspend him under the unambiguous provisions of Article XVI of the Constitution and Canons of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion).”
Falana noted further that the letter of the purported suspension of Bishop Adebogun which was circulated in online news and other social media by “Your Grace has caused irreparable damage to him, his wife and other family members.”
He then stated that if the Primate refuses to withdraw the suspension notice, both the Primate and the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) will be sued with a view to protecting the reputation of Bishop Adebogun.
Falana stated, “Specifically, we shall pray the appropriate court to order the reinstatement of our client as a Bishop of the Church of Nigeria and award damages of (One Billion Naira) to him for the libelous letter”