Paul Agomoh, a former follower of the Late Prophet Temitope Balogun Joshua, sometimes referred to as TB Joshua, has revealed that he was forced to go into hiding for almost eight years following his first attempt to reveal the actions of the late Pastor of the Synagogue Church of All Nations.
Agomoh made this revelation to the media on Monday night after the Transcorp Hilton Hotel in Abuja hosted a 150-minute investigative report titled “Disciples: The Cult of TB Joshua.” The report featured testimonies from former disciples and church employees who accused the late prophet of manipulation and physical abuse.
Agomoh claimed to be the first Prophet under the SCOAN, but he was being followed by followers of Prophet TB Joshua throughout Cotonou, Lagos, and Ghana because they thought his revelations were sacrilege against the prophet.
“I was the first prophet of the Synagogue church, and I spent more than a decade in the Synagogue between 1995 and 2006. And I just want to thank the BBC. This is a journey I started in 2009. I released a video with Sister Bisola, ‘The Deception of the Age’. When I left there, the incident that led to my leaving is not a story I can finish here. It is a terrible experience. I decided to leave. When I left, I could not sleep, I could not rest. The burden was so much on me. I had to move out with the help of some pastors in ministry, and my friends.
“We brought this out, but a lot of people said ‘Agomoh has come, he is blaspheming against our man of God’. They started chasing me everywhere. For a good eight years, I laid low, not doing any ministerial job, not doing any public jobs. I laid low, just with the help of a few pastors. About three years ago, was when I started coming out gradually. I was pursued everywhere, from here to Cotonou, you know these are the nearest places you can run to, from Cotonou to Ghana, back to Lagos, I was running,” he said.
The investigation report, according to Peter Ogunmuyiwa, the Archbishop of the African Church in Abuja, was not an indictment against the church but rather against the late Pastor TB Joshua. He pointed out that Joshua could not be considered a criminal because no court had brought charges against him prior to his death.
“It is not an indictment on the church, it is an indictment on who is accused. And it is quite unfortunate that he is not alive to defend himself. All this would have been very good if he was still alive. And when he was alive, what moves were taken to confront these issues and get him convicted? So, he is a dead person now, he is gone, and it is not for us to say he died as a criminal, because no state law convicted him while he was alive.”
Although organizations like the Christian Association of Nigeria, of which he was a member, were grieved by these revelations, Ogunmuyiwa continued, the organization lacked the legislative authority or CAN-covering legislation to deal with the individuals or church in question. On the other hand, he urged the government to enact legislation governing churches and granting seminaries licenses to train pastors.
“I also believe that, if possible, let there be legislation to regulate. So that people will not just be behaving anyhow. You can’t just come out today and say you are a Pastor, which institution, which seminary, which college of theology did you go to before you say you’re a Pastor? And then the government should find a way of registering and then licensing those schools to regulate them, just like we have the university commission. I think it is high time they introduced that into religious bodies also so that we will be getting ministers that are well trained, and that are recognised by the state,” he said.