Report on Samuel Ochengele's Ministry in Nigeria
On-the-ground sources in Nigeria provided most of the information in this
report, one of whom said, "This information is given to help
wounded and traumatized pilgrims."
Commentary on this report
shows correlations between Samuel's behavior and the article, Robert Lifton's
Criteria for Thought Reform, in which similar parallels are made with
the Assembly ministry of George Geftakys. We hope that by some means the believers in the Otukpo Assemblies
may be assured that a voice has been raised against the wrongs Samuel
Ochenjele has committed against them.
Lack of Accountability, Diversion of Funds
Lying and Suppressing the Truth
Inappropriate Exercise of Spiritual Authority
History of Samuel Ochenjele's Ministry
- In 1981, while still associated with the "objolo", as the evangelistic
ministry CEFN was called at the time, Samuel was accused of diverting funds
donated by Americans. The group split over this issue, and Samuel
people with him.
- After the Geftakys team
donated funds for the construction of a meeting hall in Otukpo, a Leading Brother in the Otukpo
Assembly, who was knowledgeable and involved in the planned construction project, confronted Samuel with diverting the funds.
- The same brother also confronted Samuel about withholding funds from America intended
a Nigerian student who had
previously lived in America. Abiodun was a former gambler who had
come to Christ. The Leading Brothers in America had advised him to return to
Nigeria to live with Samuel and finish his education. Financial support sent
to him apparently did not reach him, and he had to resort to selling water
for money to buy food. The contractor took pity on him and spoke to Samuel
on his behalf.
Steve Irons traveled to Africa with George Geftakys and Roger Grant in
After the Irons family
left fellowship in 1990, Samuel told the Assemblies in Nigeria
that Steve left because his son was a drunkard and
homosexual, and Steve did not allow the brethren to punish him.
These allegations are false, as Steve's story shows.
that Steve was "writing petitions against the brethren", referring to articles exposing the abusive behavior of George Geftakys and his
wrong teaching. The
implication was that Steve was writing against Samuel, Roger, and
other brethren who traveled with George. Samuel was discrediting
Steve in order to extinguish the people's affection and admiration
for him, and cover up the real reasons why he was no longer
associated with the Geftakys ministry.
- Dr. Sunday Ochenjele is Samuel's younger brother, who also
lives in Otukpo. He is a believer, but is not involved in the Otukpo
Assembly. In 2001, the Geftakys team visited the
building site of
Dr. Sunday Ochenjele's
private medical clinic. Unsolicited by Dr. Ochenjele, the team
promised to provide some medical equipment for his clinic, which would also be
used by a medical team that was being assembled to come with GG on
his next visit. They also
offered to help put a roof on the building, but Dr. Sunday
declined this offer.
Samuel gave assurances that he had government contacts to get the
donated items through customs duty-free. Was this ethical? Would it not
fall under "...render unto Caesar that which is Caesar's"? This kind of
weasling around tax laws is typical of the Geftakys ministry.
A brouhaha then evolved about the medical equipment, which is
detaileded on the Nigeria Assemblies page.
In short, the promised medical equipment arrived, but in damaged
condition, and duty of 3 million naira (about $23,000) was indeed
levied. Samuel and George Geftakys accused Dr. Sunday of retaining an attorney to help him claim the
equipment for his exclusive use. They refused to pay the duty, and
abandoned the shipment. Dr. Ochenjele says, "I have never hired a lawyer
in my life and did not do so during the unfortunate equipment crisis
either." He obtained a personal loan to pay the duty, and retained the
- Samuel is misrepresenting
George Geftakys' excommunication from the Fullerton Assembly.
His story is that George did not commit any personal sins, but was
being punished for his inability to control his adult family
members: David divorced his wife, and Timothy's daughter became
pregnant out of wedlock.
When Roger Grant was to visit Nigeria in
November 2003, Samuel promised the people that Roger would testify
that George was innocent, and that he was no longer traveling simply
because of his advanced age, but was training missionaries at home.
When Roger came, he said no such thing, of course; he didn't mention George
at all. The people, having been frightened and indoctrinated against the
internet and this website in particular, still believe Samuel's spin on
Since his return from his trip to America in 2003, Samuel has
his meeting with Steve Irons, saying
that Steve came to him to apologize for writing articles, and
promised to shut down this website. Obviously, this was not the case. Samuel told Steve that the report of
George Geftakys' immorality would cause terrible Muslim reprisals on the
We have since learned
that this is not the case.
Someone in Nigeria wrote,
"Ignorance is the force
used by the spirit of oppression to maintain control. Sometime ago when we
were still in the Assembly, Samuel came from a Workers Conference in
Colorado and told us that Roger Grant, a computer scientist in America, gave
a teaching on the satanic nature of the internet, which is why many don’t
use the internet. Roger brought a videocassette titled “Revelation” in which a computer
program, called 'Virtual Reality', can cause a user to appear in any part of
the world he desires." [Ed: This seems to
refer to the movie,
Apocalypse II: Revelation, in which virtual reality is portrayed as
a step toward creating a direct interface with the human mind, a frightening prospect
George Geftakys no doubt instructed Roger to bring a message
denouncing the internet. Prior to 2003, this was spin control to prevent
people from reading the reports about the Assembly and David Geftakys on
Rick Ross website, and an obvious example of
"milieu control". After January, 2003, Samuel and others used it to
keep people off this website where they would learn the whole story
about GG's excommunication and the major problems with the Assembly.
Roger was one of the original Leading Brothers in the Chicago Assembly,
and a Worker who always accompanied GG on the African leg of his annual
journeys. That he would be persuaded by George to participate in the
spin-control to the extent of presenting such a misleading impression of
the internet to the Workers shows how deeply George's lack of ethics
pervaded the thinking of his associates. Roger was also
directly involved in Kristin's situation,
and turned a blind eye to thinly-veiled
lascivious correspondence from George being carried on before his very eyes.
Samuel has no accountability to anyone present in Otukpo. He has no
peers. His network of American connections and his comparative wealth
set him above the local people. He makes decisions and judgments independently of the Leading Brothers in the Otukpo
- At the very beginning, no doubt with George Geftakys' agreement
and direction, people who
had left CEFN with Samuel but wished
to maintain fellowship with them were
discouraged from doing so. If they wanted to attend CEFN meetings,
they were obliged to do it secretly without Samuel's knowledge.
- Instead of responding to the Leading Brother's
questions about the use of funds by disclosing the financial records,
Samuel suspended him from fellowship.
One of the man's sons, who has since become involved in an
international Christian ministry, has said it seemed like a spell was
working against his father after he was excluded from the Assembly - his wealth dwindled,
his wife left him, and his
children dropped out of school for lack of finances. Like Geftakys
Assembly leaders in America, Samuel capitalizes on such coincidences to
preach that misfortunes, illness, disability, even death, happen to
people who leave the Assembly, due to their rebellion and sin.
- When the white brethren visited Nigeria, they were basically under lock and key.
The reason Samuel gave for this was danger, such as a possible plan by "enemies of the Assembly"
to poison them. A resident of Otukpo says such a plan is highly unlikely. It seems that the real
purpose was to prevent the visitors from freely attending to the needs of
the people, rather than the needs of Samuel and George.
A woman in the Otukpo Assembly showed one of the teenagers there a picture of
Steve Irons, and a Bible she said he had given her. The young man
wanted to meet Steve, But Steve didn't come the next year, and
Samuel instituted a policy that the
believers were not allowed to get close
to the American team. This was to prevent people from receiving special
gifts from the Americans or being invited to America. Even letters to
members of the Geftakys team had to be
delivered first to Samuel; because he censored letters from America and
did not allow anyone to have American addresses.
- A poor woman and her daughter,
who was born out of wedlock, came to the Otukpo Assembly at one
time. She wanted to repent and
walk with the Lord. At first she was allowed to attend, but after two
weeks Samuel and the
Leading Brothers sent them away. He told the church that "
God is not interested in multitudes, but in the few who are
able to abide in holiness. Even if
everyone leaves, he and his wife would serve the Lord alone."
- Orphans, widows, the
poor, and anyone who will be a burden seem to not be welcome. On one occasion Roger Grant got a sharp rebuke
from Samuel at the Abuja hotel when he wanted to preach to Samuel's
driver without his permission. Steve Irons had a similar experience with
G. Geftakys in Nigeria. Contrary to a news report,
Samuel does not run an orphanage for AIDS orphans, although his school,
Livingstone Academy, does have students who are orphans.
- Samuel excommunicates people from fellowship whom he feels "
the purity of the gathering" (a phrase also used by G. Geftakys.)
One example is a woman who was married to a polygamist prior to
receiving Christ. She and her children had been in the Otukpo Assembly
for several years when Samuel demanded that she leave her husband,
saying her marriage was unscriptural and her children were born in
fornication. He told her that her evil marriage was the reason why her
children didn't have funds to attend the university, because nobody
would sponsor them. He threatened her that they would be useless in life
without help. When she did not leave her husband, she was
excommunicated, and the people were told to not associate with her.
Several women from the church visited the woman once anyway,
during the church's regular time of visitation and evangelism on
Saturdays. It was reported to Samuel, and during the Sunday worship the
next day when one of the women offered a prayer, Samuel shouted, "Shut
up!" and stopped her, because she had disobeyed his edict.
After this, one of the sons of the excommunicated woman requested a meeting with the
Leading Brothers and Justice James Ogebe. It was to no avail, and the
woman's children left the Assembly. Her daughter was married several
months later, and none of their friends in the Assembly attended the
wedding. Samuel preaches against people who leave, just
as G.G. did, without
mentioning names, in messages such as, "The Spirit of Offence."
Samuel interfered with the marriage of an Assembly man to a Christian woman from outside the Assembly.
The man asked Samuel to pray about it, and Samuel retorted that it was not necessary because he had no
peace about the union. He further said that he had yet to see a genuine Christian lady--they are all pretenders.
(Presumably he was referring to women outside the Assembly?) The couple was married anyway, with an ordained
minister from outside the Assembly performing the ceremony. Samuel never approved of the marriage, and
preached about his disagreements with the husband. The couple soon discontinued their fellowship with the Assembly.
- A brother named Joshua committed adultery, and then reported
himself to the church, and was suspended. It is reported that Samuel
went to his house and
prophesied the punishment of death on him. Samuel said he "blew the
trumpet of holiness". The man left fellowship with his family, in spite
of attempts by Justice James to restore him, but one of his sons
remained loyal to the Assembly.
The boy stayed in Samuel's custody and
was hidden away. Eventually an influential brother in the Assembly
confronted the Leading Brothers to release the boy to his parents. The
boy seemed mentally disturbed when he returned, telling of a "cult
initiation" eating rice in Samuel's house, which was witnessed by one of
the American team. He claimed it had given him mystical powers, and that
his "bone of initiation" was buried in Livingstone Academy and later
taken to America. He asserted that Samuel gave him an assignment to kill
his own father. The Assembly dismissed all this, saying the boy was not
in his right mind.
We urge the Nigerian brethren to read this website and
informed about the Assemblies. Learn the facts about
the excommunication of George Geftakys and the
errors, the abuses,
cultic control of the
Geftakys' ministry, perpetrated not only by George Geftakys himself,
but also by the leaders he trained.
See also the Commentary on the
Report from Nigeria
spells out how the cultic practices of the Geftakys Assemblies in the
USA have been exported overseas.
Samuel Ochenjele's behavior that has been reported here is not worthy
of a true under-shepherd of our Lord Jesus. Jesus is very clear how his servants are
"You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord
it over them, and their high officials exercise authority over them. BUT IT
SHALL NOT BE SO WITH YOU...Instead, whoever wants to become great among you
must be your servant, and whoever wants to be first must be your slave..."
unscriptural authority over God's people and
teaching other men to do so is one of the most wrong and damaging aspects of
George Geftakys' legacy.
(Back to top)
Anonymous in Nigeria: I am writing these words with the hope
that it will help shed more light on what is really happening. Samuel needs
to do what he is doing or has done to survive - it is he way of sustaining
his lifestyle. Yes, there is much concern for the children born and raised
in the Assemblies, here in Africa as well as in the USA. There is no
difference between G. Geftakys and Samuel Ochenjele, except perhaps only in
the immorality of GG. Everything that applies in the Assemblies there in the
USA is the same here in the Assemblies that Samuel leads. They have isolated
themselves from the rest body of Christ and are very much being controlled
in an occultic manner.
Wayne Mathews: There
were problems on both sides about the medical equipment. What began as a
sincere attempt to help the needy in Otukpo ended as a bitter feud. I
was grieving that it became that. Samuel initially thought with his
contacts in high places the equipment could be duty free, but at the
same time, the Nigerian government started cracking down on corruption
of officials who were declaring charitable imports and pocketing the
customs fees as personal profits.
The only other comment I have regarding the condition of the equipment and
expired medications is that the shipment was first delayed for several
months by U.S. customs for inspection (paid for by U.S. brethren), and
then delayed several more months in Lagos, Nigeria, where it sat in hot
dusty warehouses. This no doubt affected the state of the equipment. I
can personally attest that the equipment on the U.S. side was carefully
packed and tested for function before it left. On another note, several
thousand dollars of useful medical equipment, colonoscopes, operating
equipment, pulse oximeters, etc. were brought by myself, Dr. Gordon Kim
and Dr. Tom Hines in our medical visit working with Dr. Sunday. This was
fully functional, top of the line stuff and given to Sunday by us,
including training to use it.