The attention of Kings International Christian Centre (KICC) has been drawn to the news report making the rounds in both the social media and some Nigerian newspapers in which the Senior Pastor of the Church, Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo, is wrongly reported to have lost $5 million to a ponzi scheme.
This is not true. The report is flat wrong and misleading.
The report would have presented the true view of facts in issue if those who wrote the story had adhered to the ethics of Journalism which insist on balance and fairness that can only be attained by talking to all those involved in a news event and reflecting all angles to the story.
That was not done, hence the presentation of a skewed report that maligned the innocent and misinformed the public.
In the light of the misleading report, we feel obliged to set the record straight as follows:
1) Pastor Mathew Ashimolowo, Senior Pastor of KICC, did not lose any money to a ponzi scheme. He did not make any investment nor was he part of any decision to invest the church’s Charity Funds in any scheme.
2) The investment in question which happened about seven and a half years ago was a decision of the trustees of the Funds who are independent and have the freedom to manage the Funds according to the laws of the United Kingdom and set regulations of the Charities Commission of the UK.
3) As reported by the Charities Commission that investigated the activities of the investment manager, Mr Richard Rufus, who led his clients, including KICC, into serious financial losses, those who gave their money to Mr Rufus to invest in currency trading were “unsuspecting investors” who believed they were dealing with a trusted funds manager.
The trustees of KICC Charity Funds acted in good faith and had no reason to suspect that the investment on behalf of the Charity would go wrong.
4) The Charities Commission Investigation Report came to the same conclusion, and did not indict the church or its trustees for any wrongdoing.
Rather, all the investors who lost money in the scheme were seen as victims of an investment plan that went bust. It is therefore plain wrong and totally misleading for anyone to pin imputation of fraud on the church or the trustees who made the investment decision, as some reports in publications in Nigeria have done.
It should be noted that investments go wrong every now and then in the world. Anybody can lose money in an investment which he had no reason to believe would go bust at the time the investment decision was made.
5) We believe that the public has the right to know the true facts of the story, that Pastor Matthew Ashimolowo is not one of the trustees of the church’s Charity Funds, was not part of the decision to make the investment that went wrong, and that the church or its trustees have not been accused of or investigated by the UK authorities for wrongdoing with regard to the investment in question.
Dr. Dipo Oluyomi
Chief Executive Officer, KICC
Mr. James McGlashan
Chief Operating Officer,