Benny Hinn: PFN Suspends Obembe

Lagos, Nigeria - Ripples over the alleged scandal in the handling of the Benny Hinn crusade has taken a new twist, with the co-ordinator of the crusade and president of the Lagos state capter of the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria (PFN), Bishop Lanre Obembe suspended by the national leadership of the body.

Also, PFN slammed a suspension on other members of the local organising committee of the crusade as well as El-Shaddai Bible Church, which is headed by Bishop Obembe.

But, in a swift reaction, the Bishop discribed his suspension as a mere rumour, saying that he was yet to recieve any letter conveying such message from the body.

Controversy has been rocking PFN over an alleged financial mismanagement by organisers of the April 29-May I, crusade held by renowned United States of America (USA) preacher, Pastor Benny Hinn in Lagos.

Titled "Lagos Healing Crusade, the controversy followed a comment reportedly made by Pastor Hinn expressing his disappointment over the attendance of the three day revival despite committing $4m into it.

The comment sparked off uproar, leading to the setting up of a committee headed by Bishop George Amu of the GoodNews Church to investigate allegation of financial indescretion against the organisers.

The committee's report was, however, rejected by the leadership of PFN, leading to the setting up of another committee, chaired by Bishop Wale Oke. The Panel on July 7, submitted its report, recommending among others, the suspension of bishop Obembe and others involved in the scandal.

Addressing newsmen at the PFN office, the body's National President, Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor said the suspension order on bishop Obemse would be lifted when he shows remorse.

According to the PFN President "based on the recommendations of the Panel led by Bishop Francis Wale Oke the NAC/NEC Joint Session have resolved as follows:

"That Bishop Lanre Obembe and Elshadai Bible Church be suspended from the Pentecostal Fellowship of Nigeria with immediate effect until Bishop Lanre Obembe shows remorse.

"That all the PFN members who served in the local organising committee but refused to respond to the query of the panel of enquiry be suspended immediately from the fellowship".

Although Pastor Oritsejafor was silent on whether or not Obembe and other members of the local organising committee were guilty of any embezzlement, he said the conduct of the organisers was not not decar.

He denied the allegation that he was witch-hunting Obembe because the later did not allow him to hijack the crusade, describing such view as incorrect and childish.