BY PRINCEWILL IREOBA AND BOLA OGUNYANNWO
The Primate of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) has urged the Legal Officers of the Church to avoid taking Church issues to Courts of adjudication, saying they should always employ dispute resolution mechanism. Ndukuba spoke during an interaction with the legal officers at the 10th edition of the Conference of Chancellors, Registrars and Legal Officers of the Church of Nigeria (Anglican Communion) held at National Secretariat of the Church, St Matthias House, Gudu District, Abuja, from 2nd – 5th August 2021, with the theme: “We are hard pressed on every side.” 2Cor. 4:8 (NIV).
The Primate gave a short introduction on the Ministry of the Legal Officers of the Church. He said the Work and service of the Legal Team in the Church of God is such as Moses did for Israel. The Commandment, Law and Statutes were meant to guide Israel to live to please God and to serve people. The statutes spelt out the duty of every member of God’s community, their duty towards God and man. God also raised Leaders and Elders who administered justice.
Ndukuba emphasized the need for the Anglican Chancellors, Registrars and Lawyers not to see themselves as oppositions to their Bishops but support efforts at addressing legal issues affecting the church. He urged them to come up with a proposal to support the inclusion of Episcopal Laws in the on-going Constitutional review.
The Conference of Chancellors, Registrars and Legal Officers of the Church of Nigeria started in 2011 when the recently retired Primate, Most Revd Nicholas D. Okoh considered that all the personnel in the legal department of the Church across the Dioceses of the Church of Nigeria should have a platform where important matters relating to the church legally are to be discussed and taught.
According to the Registrar of the Church of Nigeria, Bar. Dr Abraham Yisa, the conference has produced a total of 21 lectures and 31 talks. He said that a compendium of all the lectures; talks and communiqués issued since the inception of the conference have been published in this their 10nth year. The talks and lectures for present edition are:
- Church of Nigeria Constitution: Mrs. KehindeAjoni: Registrar, Diocese of Abuja
- The Church and Gender Related Matters: Hon. Justice (Mrs) M. OluwatoyinAbodunde. (Chancellor, Ekiti-West Diocese)
- Contemporary Challenges Confronting the Church in the 21st Century: The Rt. Revd. Prof.DapoAsaju; Bishop Theologian, Church of Nigeria Anglican Communion
- HEALTH TALK:
- The Rt Revd P. O. J. Imasuen: Bishop, Benin Diocese
- Peter Nmadu (Retired Executive Director, NNPC)
- ECCLESIASTICAL COURT / ARBITRATION: Example of Diocese on the Niger. NnamdiIbegbu, Esq, SAN: Chancellor: on the Niger
The Church fathers who graced the Opening Ceremony of the Conference in Abuja included: The Primate of All Nigeria, The Most Rev’d Henry C. Ndukuba, the Dean, Church of Nigeria, The Most Rev’d Dr. Ali BubaLamido, the Archbishop of Ecclesiastical Province of Owerri, The Most Rev’d Dr. David Onuoha, the Archbishop of Ecclesiastical Province of Jos, The Most Rev’d Ibrahim Marcus, the Bishop of Gwagwalada, The Rt. Rev’d Moses Tabwaye, the Bishop of Igbominna West, The Rt. Rev’dJide Adebayo, Bishop of Benin, The Rt. Rev’d P.O. Imasuen, the Bishop Theologian of the Church of Nigeria, The Rt. Rev’d Prof. DapoAsaju and the former Primate of the Church of Nigeria, The Most Rev’d Dr Nicholas D. Okoh ably represented by Mama NkasiobiOkoh.