Apostle Chris Omatsola is slowly covering his tracks amid a serious s*x scandal which has smeared his public image.
An embattled cleric, Apostle Chris Omatsola, who is at the centre of a viral s*x video scandal, has relocated his church over threats that trailed the release of the clip.
Omatsola told PUNCH Metro on Sunday that the new location of his ministry was only known to core members.
This was after one of Punch correspondents visited two locations of the church in the Lekki and Ajah areas of Lagos on Sunday to see the effect of the incident on members. Nobody was seen at both locations.
PUNCH Metro had reported that Omatsola, who is the Presiding Pastor of Zionwealth of Life Assembly, and his former lover, Tamaratokoni Okpe, had a clash over a s*x video, which was leaked on the Internet.
The two estranged lovers, who allegedly dated for about seven months, reportedly had sexual intercourse during the fling, which was filmed by Omatsola.
Shortly after things fell apart between them, the lurid video emerged on the Internet.
Okpe had accused Omatsola of releasing the video to force her into marriage with him, while the cleric denied the claim, saying the video was leaked to blackmail him. He alleged that Okpe demanded N200m from him.
On a visit to the church locations on Admiralty Way, Lekki, and Bendid Plaza, Ado Road, Ajah, on Sunday, one of Punch correspondents noticed that service did not hold.
Some residents of the areas told one of Punch correspondents that they did not know anything about the church.
When PUNCH Metro called Omatsola’s telephone line, a man who picked the call said the pastor had become depressed by media attacks and public criticisms, adding that he was not available for comments.
A correspondent, however, insisted on speaking to the pastor.
When Omatsola eventually agreed to speak, he said he had relocated his ministry because he feared for his life and those of his members. While insisting that he did not leak the video, he added that his only regret was having premarital s*x.
He stated, “A lot of waters have gone under the bridge. We are trying to protect ourselves from the public, because they have not really been fair to us. We still have a lot of our people, although this has affected our ministry grossly. Our church is a ministry. It is an assembly of young people.
“We have a location where we meet for now because of what happened; we have been receiving a lot of threats; some people are saying they want to burn our church. We had to change the location to a designated place where we meet and we will not share that with the public, because we don’t want the public; we know our people.”
Omatsola, who noted that he had apologised to his members, said they knew the truth about the incident.
He added that the incident had affected him psychologically and had helped him to have a better sense of judgment.
“First of all, I was wrong to have had a s*x date with somebody I was supposed to marry. But this should not be an instrument of blackmail. It’s really outrageous. My followers know the truth. They know who they are following,” he added.
Meanwhile, Omatsola has come under heavy attack on Facebook, where he has an account.
Despite the scandal, PUNCH Metro observed that he had continued to post self-authored devotionals on his wall.
On October 21 when the s*x video went viral, he asked his followers to pray for him.
“Let he or she that is without a sin among you be the first to cast a stone. Friends, pray for the church of God; pray for Zionwealth Church; pray for #ChrisOmatsola.God bless you. #ApostleChrisOmatsola#IstandwithACO #ZionwealthChurch #SatanWillNotWin #John8v7,” he wrote.
Three days after, he posted a crying emoticon and asked for forgiveness.
He said, “One day, Apostle Chris Omatsola will have his last breath, die and go, but until then, I will keep on pushing cool and steady. Sorry to everyone that is offended, please forgive and forget. God bless you all. Shallom.”
But his posts angered his Facebook friends, some of whom posted screenshots of the sex video in the comment section.
One Esther Jack said, “Imagine the way he is even saying it. ‘Sorry to everyone, please forgive and forget’. This man is a vicious type. So unrepentant, uncut (uncouth), pompous and silly. It just ends with ‘forget’ right? When the lady was begging you not to release the nudes, you were feeling like Captain America.”
Another Facebook user, Emma Nuel, said, “I wish words can describe how much I hate you. If that girl were my sister, I swear with my life I would have separated your head from your body. You devil.”
However, while some friends urged him to make peace with his creator and move on, others said he should resign his position in order to have for enough time to reconcile with God.