Fraud accused pastor case takes new twist
The case in which Life Changing Christian Church pastor, Isaac Onwordi, is being accused of swindling a couple out of their Dorado Park house has taken a dramatic twist after new evidence emerged to the effect that the house was willingly handed over to the church in good will.
The couple has identified itself in the court as Gervasius and Fransiska Arnat.
The latest evidence constitutes a bombshell which has been thrown into the case by the church’s director and pastor, Marcel Onwordi, who released a string of emails showing communication between the pastor, the church and the couple.
Their supplementary discovery affidavit has emails sent at different times as far back as 2013 that suggests that the house had been surrendered over to the church as a donation.
A February the 26th 2013 email purportedly sent to Marcel by Fransiska reads that she “assisted because God blessed us and we could afford to provide the initial donation as well as the monthly insurance payments for the house and the vehicle until now”.
The Villager has learnt that on top of the house, the couple had also bought for the pastor a car which was paid out in full out of their salaries via the bank.
“In our minds we were doing this for the man of God and not be distracted or us be seen by people because we know Namibians. That’s why we mentioned right at the beginning nobody should know this and we will keep to our end in full,” further reads the mail.
She allegedly concedes that FNB had also agreed “to this whole deal, because of our past record with them even though it was solely the bank’s decision”.
Part of the emails which came out boldly to suggest that a deal had been struck to have the house given over to the church reads, “We have signed away ownership of the property to pastor already and don’t even regret having assisted them to own property in Namibia”.
However the court documents show that the couple later had a fall out with the pastor some time in 2015 if evidence presented by Marcel is anything to go by.
A 07 October scathing email to the pastor’s wife, Suama Onwordi shows that she and her husband wanted to buy the Dorado Park house at 148 Antilia Street to the tune of N$1.570 million back in 2010 but failed.
“You had N$600 000 but apparently invested it in other property (small flat),” Fransiska allegedly writes to Suama.
She allegedly discloses that the pastor promised to pay in full the remaining debt within three years because: they had properties in Nigeria which were making money, they had a small flat in Namibia which was lucrative and that their church was doing well and making profits.
“I believed you, after all you are a pastor’s wife. I was only being kind to you, so called clergy, by agreeing into this whole debt. In Namibia being kind is not a sign of weakness, neither does it mean one is foolish.”
She purportedly admits in the email to having been “cleverly, deliberately, knowingly and consciously deceived” by the pastor.
The court case has in the meantime opened in the High Court with Fransiska’s husband undergoing intense cross examination.
He testified that the church used to send lots of money into his bank account which he had no idea what it was for.
As such, he instructed the bank to revert it back to them, he alleged, and the pastor could be heard muttering under his breath, “Lies!”
His lawyer put it back to Arnat that evidence showed that he did not return all of the money which had been sent to him.
The case has become complex to the point that when The Villager left court, lawyers for both parties were considering an out of court settlement.
Lawyers for the Arnats still needed consent from them but by yesterday afternoon, such would not be possible since by law, an attorney cannot speak to a client that is being cross-examined.
Meanwhile the pastor showed up with an entourage of a few of his church members.