The Charity Commission is looking into two Christian charities connected to one of Nigeria’s richest pastors over concerns about misplaced charitable funds and conflicts of interest.
World Mission Agency registered with the commission in 2001 and lists its objects as the proclamation and advancement of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Its 2011 accounts list as its chief executive Pastor David Oyedepo Jnr, who is reputed to be one of the richest pastors in Nigeria. A Forbes article from 2011 estimates Oyedepo’s estimated net worth at $150m (£96m).
World Mission Agency – Winners Chapel International, which shares the same trustees and website as World Mission Agency, registered in 2010 and lists among its objects the advancement of education and the relief of those in need.
A spokeswoman for the commission said it had opened an ongoing regulatory case into both charities on 9 November last year and had considered documents and information provided by the trustees.
She said: "The concerns that we are looking at are issues of conflict of interest, an allegation that charitable funds have been misapplied and concerns about the reputational management of the charity."
She said that the regulator was unable to give any further information while the case was under way.
The latest accounts on the commission’s website show that World Mission Agency had an income of £224,000 in 2011 but spent almost £7.5m. World Mission Agency – Winners Chapel International had an income of £11.9m in 2001 and spent £3.4m, according to its 2011 accounts.
The World Mission Agency annual accounts for 2011 state that its net assets were donated to World Mission Agency – Winners Chapel International. "World Mission Agency will eventually be wound up once the outstanding debtors are recovered," the accounts said.
Third Sector has emailed Winners’ Chapel International and left telephone messages but has not received a response.