The Primate of the Church of Nigeria, Anglican Communion, Most Rev. Nicholas Okoh, has called on Christians and legal practitioners to reduce litigation against churches in their various Dioceses across the country.
Okoh said this on Tuesday at the 8th Annual Conference of Chancellors, Registrars’ and Legal Officers in the Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion at the Basilica of Grace Anglican Church, Gudu District Apo Abuja.
The theme of the conference tagged: “Proclaiming Christ Faithfully to the Nations.”
Okoh, who condemned the raising litigation against Churches and Christian’s leaders, called on the fellows to be diligent in guiding their spiritual leaders to avoid unnecessary embarrassment.
He said that the reason for organising the conference was to harness various vocations in the Church for more effective ministry and mission.
According to him, the time when people just stand up and take decisions without deliberations is over, people should be educated to do things in a civilized manner.
Okoh urged the participants to take cognisance of the Church and the nation in their deliberation and communique.
He urged them to make remarkable observations and contributions on topical issues affecting the country.
Earlier, the Registrar of Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion, Mr Abraham Yisa said that the conference was vital and must be taken serious.
“The reason we invited speakers such as the Primate of Nigeria is because the conference is very important and all the issues we are going to tackle must be handled accordingly.
“It’s one of the contributions that these conferences which we started eight years ago will aid Churches to resolve their legal issues.
“First of all, when we came onboard as Registrars, we realised that the chancellors, leaders and registrars were working independently according to their own dioceses.
“We now thought that we should come together and work together as legal officers of the church.
“By so-doing, we were able to gather that to be a Chancellors, Registrars’ and Legal Officers is the same thing as a Ministry.
“Chancellors, Registrars’ and Legal Officers are not just ceremonial, but suppose to defend the church in court, we give legal opinions with the prestige and we don’t expect anything in return.
“I became the registrar of the church in 2005 and more than 90 per cent of the church legal cases have been done for free and there is no vote for legal fee,” he said.
Yisa gave an example with the just concluded case at the Owerri Diocese, in Imo state, which would have cost the church over 10 to 20 million Naira, but was done by all the chancellors around the Southeast of Nigeria for free.
“Whenever there is a case in any region, all the chancellors and registrars’ are directed to appear in court on behalf of the church.
“Therefore, this conference acknowledged and encouraged others to do the same when such situation arises,” he explained.
The registrar said that the passion and doggedness of the Primate to move the Church forward gave birth to the conference, adding that the desire to make every unit of the Church fruitful has become institutionalised.
Yasi said that the conference was being attended by 1,950 representatives from 50 countries.
He, however, called on Nigerians to go to all the nations of the earth to proclaim Jesus Christ.
He said that the next conference would be taken place in Canterbury in July, 2020.