When the news broke of a leak in the accounts of world personalities who own and operates offshore companies in countries tagged tax havens. My curiosity grew the more to identify those individuals; not that I can stop them from running their companies wherever they feel safe, but to add a face to faceless corporations. Rightly or wrongly, offshore companies are used for genuine global transactions and also for funding terrorism and illegal wealth stolen from government treasuries around the world. When the name of world renown Prophet, TB Joshua of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN), Nigeria, was prominently highlighted by Premium Times – an online newspaper, my interest took a different turn. What almost made me wave aside the newspaper report was the name of the reporter, Nicholas Ibekwe, the same fellow who shortly after the SCOAN building collapse accused the revered Prophet of doling out cash to suppress news reports. When all who have interacted with TB Joshua know him for generosity with no strings attached.
TB Joshua naturally denied the accusation through his media outlet and warned his detractors to desist from maligning his name just to increase their readership audience, pointing figures at both Nicholas and Premium Times newspapers. He stated that he was neither a business man or government contractor, so an off-shore account is the writer’s imagination. He concluded by saying that the only business he does on earth is that of His heavenly Father, which is preaching the gospel with power!
In their own attempt to substantiate their newspaper story, Premium Times, through their reporter published some documents which they said belong to the Joshua’s offshore company Chillon Consultancy Limited. The company was said have been incorporated in June 20, 2006 in the British Virgin Islands. Apart from the certificate of incorporation, other documents were just plain without substance i.e no payments, no transaction whatsoever. To an investigator, there was really no implicating evidence to show illegality or wrong doing to warrant giving it the publicity Premium Times did, when there were other more corruption based news to carry. The company was either dead on arrival or never actually existed! It was either floated by associates of the Prophet without his knowledge based on his first reaction or someone cooked up the file to further disgrace him by painting him black.
The International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ) acknowledges the involvement of Premium Times, in the decoding of some of the facts behind the names and companies in the over 300,000 files wiki leaked from the Panama based legal firm of Mossack Fonscea. At the time of their breaking news in April, 2016, Premium Times Nigeria, were the only media house with access to the ICIJ files through their reporter, Nicholas Ibekwe.
The ICIJ recently sent me the link to search out those companies and individuals around the world; I opted to verify the Premium Times story. Here is my investigation on TB Joshua’s alleged ownership of Chillon Consultancy Limited, a company registered in the British Virgin Islands (BVI).
The search result on the ICIJ website under the Panama Papers reveals that there are only 12 offshore companies owned by Nigerians that are registered in the British Virgin Islands between 1994 – 2009. The name of Chillon Consultancy Limited is not among the twelve listed. This is in contrast to the reported 100 times search claimed by Premium Times in their report, which kept turning up the name of TB Joshua. The question is was the search platform used by Nicholas Ibekwe different from the official one released by the ICIJ? Premium Times need to clarify this discrepancy and point the public to the right ICIJ search page for the Offshore leaks and the Panama Papers.
The above is the Certificate of Incumbency, Premium Time’s Nicholas Ibekwe used to justified TB Joshua’s ownership of a company that did not show up on search results for British Virgin Islands (BVI). As the British say, there is something fishy going on! The name stated in the certificate is Chillon Consultancy Ltd and the address is Mossack Fonseca office in BVI. The ICIJ report did not say there will be a part-2 release of the over 300,000 files on its data base. So where did Chillon Consultancy Ltd disappear to from the data release for British Virgin Islands? See the search result below…”No results found”.
Unlike hurry hurry African journalist, the team at ICIJ are professional to the core. The webpage dedicated to searching for people, companies and data is well crafted to ease your navigation through site. To conclude my tour of the Panama Papers site, I also placed a name search for TB Joshua and his wife Evelyn, here are the results;
Both searches returned the same “No results found”. I obviously found the names of some Nigerian elites and others. Premium Times and Nicholas Ibekwe need to do more than just showing the world uncertified documents online, because they want the pound of flesh of a servant of God. Really, unless there is a missing link on my investigation of the TB Joshua Panama saga at ICIJ, the newspaper and their reporter owe the highly revered Prophet an apology. You can visit ICIJ at www.icij.com
Phillips Eteng, Evangelist.