Following the emergence of Pastor Joseph Obayemi as the new General Overseer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, RCCG, in Nigeria, Pastor Enoch Adejare Adeboye remains General Overseer, Worldwide, of the RCCG. Adeboye is stepping down due to The Financial Reporting Council (FRC) of Nigeria, Code of Corporate Governance, which took effect from Monday, October 17, 2016. The aspect of the law, Non-For-Profit Organisations (NFPOs) Governance Code, 2015, which Adeboye implicitly referred to during the announcement, seeks to promote the highest standards of corporate governance.
The following are stated in Section 9, which deals with “Position of the Founder or Leader”: “9.1. The Founder or Leader of a NFPO occupies a special position in the Organisation and is committed to the success and longevity of the NFPO. Accordingly, a Founder or Leader should not take on too many responsibilities in the organisation or have an indefinite term in the running of the organisation.
“9.2. Where for any reason, a Founder or Leader of NFPO also occupies any of the three governance positions of Chairmanship of the Board of Trustees, the Governing Board or Council, and the Headship of the Executive Management (or their governance equivalents), the following provisions shall apply before the end of the organization’s financial year in which this Code takes effect.
“9.2.1. The Founder or Leader shall cease to occupy these three governance positions simultaneously. This is to ensure the separation of powers and avoid possible concentration of powers in one individual.
“9.2.2. The Founder or Leader may however choose – subject to the agreement of the organization’s apex authority as expressed in the Annual General Assembly, Annual Meeting, Annual Stakeholder Engagement, Annual Conference, Annual Synod, Annual Fellowship Assembly or their equivalents – only one of these three governance positions subject to his current tenure. This is to ensure a clear division of responsibilities at the head of the organization between the running of the governing body and the executive responsibility for the management and fulfilment of the organization’s mission.
“9.3. Where the Founder or Leader has occupied all or any of these three governance positions for more than ten years, or is aged seventy years or above, the choice in section 9.2.2 above should only relate to the Board of Trustees as in section 9.4(c) below.
In the case of religious or cultural organisations, nothing in this code is intended to change the spiritual leadership and responsibilities of Founders, General Overseers, Pastors, Imams and Muslim Clerics, Presidents, Bishops, Apostles, Prophets, etc. which are distinguishable from purely corporate governance and management responsibilities and accountabilities of the entities” According to records, only 89 out of the 23, 216 registered churches in the country complied as at last year. Section 39 of the Code deals with “Sanctions“39.1. Compliance with the provisions of this Code is mandatory. Accordingly, violations of the provisions of this Code will occasion both personal sanctions against the persons directly involved in the violation, and sanctions against the NFPOs involved in such violation.
Meanwhile, there were indications, yesterday, that leaders of some prominent pentecostal churches in the country, who have either served 10 years at the helm of affairs of their organisations or are above 70 years may follow the Adeboye example by also quitting the headship of their churches in Nigeria. They include the Presiding Bishop of the Living Faith World Outreach, David Oyedepo; Bishop Mike Okonkwo of The Redeemed Evangelical Mission (TREM); Pastor Ayo Oritsejafor of the Word of Life Bible Church, Warri; Pastor W. F. Kumuyi of Deeper Life Bible Church and Pastor D.K. Olukoya of the Mountain of Fire and Miracles Ministries.