Trustees of Christ Embassy appeal to charity tribunal against appointment of interim manager

The Charity Commission opened a statutory inquiry last year into the evangelical church charity over concerns that included payments to connected parties

Christ Embassy headquarters in Folkestone, Kent
Christ Embassy headquarters in Folkestone, Kent

The trustees of an evangelical Christian charity subject to a Charity Commission statutory inquiry have appealed to the charity tribunal against the commission’s appointment of an interim manager.

Christ Embassy has ministries in Canada, Nigeria, South Africa and the US in addition to the UK. According to its charitable objects, it exists to promote the Christian religion and help people in need or suffering hardship.

The commission appointed Rod Weston, a specialist business recovery partner at the accountancy firm Mazars, to take over the management of the charity on 11 August. An inquiry had been opened into the charity in July 2013 over concerns that included large payments to connected parties.

The commission has also made an order preventing several banks from parting with money they hold on behalf of the charity.

A spokeswoman for the commission said: "The charity’s trustees have appealed to the first-tier tribunal against the commission’s orders appointing an interim manager of the charity and preventing the banks from parting with monies held by them on behalf of the charity."

The spokeswoman said she could not confirm when the order was made to the banks.

The appeal was made in the name of six of the seven trustees of the charity – the exception being Anita Oyakhilome. Her husband, Christian Oyakhilome, a leading figure in the church who features prominently on its website, is no longer a trustee of the charity, according to its entry on the commission’s register.

Christ Embassy did not respond to a request for comment from Third Sector by the time of this article’s publication.

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