Tunde Bakare committed no crime by allegedly collecting N4.5bn loan from Wema Bank to build church — Ex-CPC candidate

Tunde Bakare

A former governorship candidate of the defunct Congress for Progressive Change (CPC) in Lagos State Abayomi Mumuni has called on critics of Pastor Tunde Bakare to cut him some slack following reports of N9 billion debt.

Some online news platforms reported recently that Bakare, who is the general overseer of Citadel Global Community Church formerly known as Latter Rain Assembly, took N4.5 billion loan from Wema Bank to build his church in Oregun, Lagos and has been unable to pay back.

The reports claimed the loan was without collateral and was made possible through Bakare’s good relationship with the former managing director of the bank, Segun Oloketuyi. Also, the reports said Bakare’s inability to service the loan had seen the total debt rise to N9 billion.

However, commenting on this, Mumuni said those circulating the reports were naysayers.

Bakare was Muhammadu Buhari’s pick as running mate for the CPC in the 2011 presidential election, while Mumuni was the party’s governorship candidate for Lagos in the same year.

“What could have been the issue of concern is if it’s established that he doesn’t want to pay his loan, but it’s in the public domain that he has started paying back the loan he reportedly took from five banks, which I believe will get to the turn of WEMA Bank,” Mumuni told Vanguard on Wednesday.

“To my knowledge, WEMA should be the household name for the Yoruba people. They shouldn’t allow speculators to use them to tarnish the reputation of Pastor Bakare.

“Many citizens of our country had bankrupt several institutions in Nigeria with records of unrecovered fraudulent loans called bad debt in the proxy. The Pastor Bakare acclaimed loans represent the edifices on the ground to show for it.”

Mumuni said COVID-19 pandemic which saw churches close for some time last year could have hampered Bakare’s ability to pay up the loan.

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