Friends, do we remember this face? The former lecturer in the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile Ife, Prof. Richard Iyiola Akindele, who was dragged to court for demanding sex to pass one of his students, Monica Osagie?
HE WAS ALSO A PASTOR
Professor Akindele was also the presiding Pastor of a branch of his church in Ile Ife. I visited the church after the incidence, just before he began his jail terms. Expectedly, he was removed from office as a church leader. You know what I also saw when I visited? He did not stop going to the same church, now as a member with his wife and kids. He repented and was ready to face the shame. But it was more important to him to reconcile with His maker, which he did.
HE BECAME BROKE, HE WAS ABANDONED
I was told by a close friend that the case ran his finance to the ground. Since his appointment with the University was terminated almost immediately, he became broke while the court case was on. Friends, church, and family left him alone to face the music. It was a tough period of his life. You will probably say "he deserved it". But the truth is that God does not operate that way. A fallen soldier needs help, not judgment. But his wife and a few who knew him to be a generous and good man and a soldier who simply fell in the battlefront stood with him during the tough times.
HE EVENTUALLY PLEADED GUILTY
He pleaded guilty and was sentenced to six years in prison. The six years was an accumulate for these three offences; two years in prison for demanding sexual benefits from student Monica Osagie, two years for soliciting sexual benefits to improve her marks, one year for falsifying his age, and one year for altering evidence. The judge then said his sentences would run concurrently, so he would serve two years instead. So he eventually served for two years.
HE'S BACK HOME!
He's done serving his prison terms which began on November 19, 2018, and have ended last month, March 19, 2020. He's back home. I got a firsthand report on how revival broke out in the prison through him. Many were saved. He became their Pastor. Glory be to Jesus!
HE'S BACK TO CHURCH
He's also back to the same church, as a member. No more shame. No guilt. No regret. No more condemnation. He's back on his feet for Jesus.
I specially request that we remember him in our prayers and others who are in such traps and we do not know about.
TO OUR CHURCH LEADERS
In the parable of our Savior, the shepherd left the 99 sheep for the lost one because He could not afford to lose any. To discipline a faulted leader is expected but to abandon him is evil and not Christlike in nature. I still remember the Abuja Pastor who impregnated a minor. His church spent millions of naira on national newspapers to prove that he was not their pastor. I understood that what he did was shameful, but to abandon him hurts the head of the Church, Christ. He is probably rotting in jail by now.
Let's think about all these things and let Jesus truly be at the centre of our denominations, not our efforts to protect our names. It hurts the Lord.
"Brothers and sisters, if someone is caught in a sin, you who live by the Spirit should restore that person gently. But watch yourselves, or you also may be tempted." Galatians 6:1
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