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Pastor Oyedepo accused of tax evasion, money laundering in Pandora Papers

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The founder and general overseer of Living Faith Church Worldwide, aka Winners’ Chapel, David Oyedepo, has been accused of tax evasion via the purchase of prized properties in tax havens across the world.

This was contained in the Pandora Papers report published by Premium Times on Sunday, which is an investigative project led by the International Consortium of Investigative Journalists (ICIJ).

According to the report, Oyedepo, in August 2007 “contracted the services of Business Centrum Limited, a London-based agent, to help him set up a company in the infamous tax haven for him and his immediate family.”

The report said “Business Centrum subsequently subcontracted Trident Trust Group, one of the world’s leading secrecy enablers and one of the most notorious providers of offshore corporate and financial services”.

However, the documents “did not reveal the exact businesses and transactions the offshore company was set up to conduct. The entity however appears to be the family’s investment vehicle under which the family’s wealth is warehoused for offshore management.

Read also: Winners Chapel’s Bishop Oyedepo describes sacked pastors as ‘unfruitful, blatant failures’

“While the cache of documents did not reveal what type of business the company was set up for, some of the documents revealed that the company was still active at least as recently as 2016 when Trident Trust filed a resolution of the company’s board revalidating its list of directors.”

Journalists under the aegis of the Pandora Papers tried to reach Oyedepo for comments but “he did not respond to questions sent to him seeking his comments.

“We also sent the questions to the publicised emails of his church, including that of the church’s branch in Maryland. Some of the emails returned undelivered while we did not receive any response for those that delivered.

“The telephone number Mr Oyedepo listed in company documents failed to connect.”

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