Marital row: It’s wrong to dismiss me, says Anglican cleric

The embattled priest of the Diocese of Niger, Anglican Communion, Rev Canon LumenCristi Eboh, has faulted his dismissal.

He said he remained a priest in the “Melchizedek order”.

The diocese had announced Eboh’s dismissal following allegations of marital misconduct and disobedience to constituted authorities.

Eboh, who had earlier resigned his priesthood, stressed that the decision followed continuous threats from the bishop as well as accumulated issues between the two of them.

He also denied being a Catholic seminarian before switching over to the Anglican Communion, saying he had been an Anglican from birth and would remain so till death.

The embattled dismissed the allegation that he impregnated a girl as “funny and diversionary”, adding that he was advised by his legal team to refrain from comments on the matter pending the conclusion of investigations.

The Bishop of the diocese, Rev Owen Nwokolo, through the Deputy Chancellor, Sir Ben Uzuegbu (SAN), had accused the priest of refusing to respond to several invitations to respond to the various allegations against him.

But while addressing journalists in Awka, on Thursday, Eboh said his purported dismissal by the Bishop, which was in the exercise of his canonical powers, was limited to his ability to serve only in the diocese.

Speaking through his lawyer, Stanley Okafor, the cleric accused the bishop of making references to matters already in court as well as anchoring his suspension and dismissal on imaginary allegations.

He also claimed to be the only priest not on the payroll of the diocese.

He said, “My attention has been drawn to statements, which emanated from the Deputy Chancellor and Director of Communications of the diocese, which tainted my character and portrayed me in bad light during a press parley.

“Needless to say that these agents of the diocese acted at the pleasure of my lord bishop.

“One would have expected a respected Senior Advocate of Nigeria and his peers to advise the bishop right that matters in court should be stepped down pending the determination of substantive matters by a court of proper jurisdiction.

“If indeed these matters are before the court of law, why would my lord bishop therefore pre-empt the court by suspending and dismissing me on those same allegations even when my innocence or otherwise has not been determined by these courts?”