The British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) has announced its plans to unveil a three-part investigative documentary shedding light on the alleged atrocities and sexual crimes attributed to Pastor Temitope Balogun Joshua, widely known as TB Joshua.
On June 5, 2021, Joshua passed away at the age of 57. Throughout its investigation, the BBC conducted interviews with at least 30 former members and employees of the Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN). The first installment of the documentary is scheduled to be released on January 8.
The trilogy of documentaries aims to expose the hidden lifestyle of the deceased founder of SCOAN, revealing testimonies of abuse, harassment, rape, manipulation, and orchestrated miracles.
BBC sources have disclosed that the church was reportedly aware of these allegations but did not initiate any internal investigations. According to these sources, the sexual crimes are said to have occurred over a span of two decades.
A part of the documentary revealed how SCOAN shielded its congregation from the truth about the collapse of one of the church’s guesthouses in 2014. A video that was shown multiple times to members on Emmanuel TV showed a short clip of the structure with something that seemed like an aircraft flying over it.
“On television, they were showing us the building had been bombed,” one of the sources who lost her daughter in the collapsed building told the BBC.
SCOAN is located at Ikotun-Egbe area of Lagos State. The church grew from a local evangelical into a multimillion-dollar church with worshipers from all around the world.
The aircraft story fed to the members was all a lie, Emmanuel, one of the young men who served TB Joshua told the BBC. Emmanuel claimed the church had a structural defect.
The foundation of the building was inadequate for the floors built on it, Rae, a Brit who attended the church and was a disciple, corroborated. She added that Joshua insisted that the building be raised despite professional opinions.
“They told us don’t tell what you know,” Emmanuel, another worker at SCOAN said in the film. “They knew something was wrong with the building but they were managing it.”
SCOAN later paid the families of the victims cash as compensation which they interpreted to be “hush money”. A church worker who was part of those who handed the money to victims’ families in South Africa said TB Joshua asked that she instruct the grieving families not to speak to the media. Then, Joshua personally threatened families who refused the money, sources told the BBC.
“The building collapse is a good example of everyday life under TB Joshua. It is just a series of cover-ups. It is just this was so big it was almost impossible for him to make it go away,” Rae said
The BBC found that people were dismembered under the rubble and dead bodies were transferred in SCOAN ambulances to shield the reality of the disaster from the press to protect both the image of the church and TB Joshua.
Survivors of TB Joshua’s sexual exploitation narrated how they were manipulated and silenced even when they knew the relationship they had with “daddy” was abusive. These women were part of TB Joshua’s discipleship. Multiple women narrated how he molested and raped them. A few women who resisted his assault at first were threatened into submission, one of the women told the BBC.
TB Joshua told the women he was sexually assaulting them for their salvation, all the women said. These women joined the synagogue when they were teenagers and spent years before finally leaving. A woman identified as Abisola said she was in the church for 14 years and was raped throughout her stay. When the women get pregnant as a result of being raped many times, they were forced to get an abortion in a dingy clinic inside the synagogue.
“We went into his room and I stood there. He said ‘off your clothes’ so I removed my clothes he just pointed so I lay down and then he raped me. He broke my virginity. I was screaming and he was whispering in my ears that I should stop acting like a baby. I was 17 years old. I was underage,” one of the women said.
One of the survivors confronted TB Joshua after she managed to escape. She recorded the encounter in videos she shared with the BBC. In the video, a security officer was heard threatening to shoot at the lady. Survivors said they were targeted, beaten, and shot at by thugs suspected of working for the pastor.
The BBC’s documentary revealed how the church staged managed and exaggerated miracles that were televised. People were told to exaggerate their problems so they could be healed, likewise, their healing so it could be “perfected by God”, a source who worked at the miracle department told the BBC.
“You’ve got this man who positioned himself as a father with many children and went on to rape, abuse, and molest all these people who call him daddy. How is somebody like that permitted to walk free,” Rae asked. Rachel joined the church when she was 17 because she hoped to be cured of homosexuality.
Another part of the investigation delved into how TB Joshua maltreated and ostracised the daughter he had out of wedlock. Ajoke, now 28 years old, told the BBC how she confronted her father, about allegations of sexual abuse and, was subsequently thrown out of the church. She narrated how she was isolated and indoctrinated. Ajoke said she contemplated suicide.
“The disciples dragged me out of the office,” she said, narrating the day she confronted her father. “Put me in a room and isolated me from the rest of the church. I wonder how I lived through that time because they were hitting me with belts, chains… I couldn’t take a shower for days. He was trying so hard to stop people from listening to me. He felt threatened by the fact that I knew what was happening.”
The BBC will air the documentary for three consecutive weeks.
SaharaReporters reported in August 2021 that the Senior Pastor of the Household of God Church International Ministries, Chris Okotie, described the late TB Joshua as a magician who disguised himself as a minister of God.
In a viral video, Okotie said the popular Nigerian prophet was never called by God into the gospel ministry.
He said in the video, “What is the truth about TB Joshua? Who was he? Was he a product of Christianity? Or a practitioner of shamanism? Was he a servant of the Lord Jesus? Or some itinerant religious quack?
“Was he a true prophet, who was misunderstood? Or a hypocrite masquerading under the habiliment of the Faith?
“When God begins a work in scripture, particularly from the Old Testament, he begins with patterns, what we call types, shadows.
“You say why because the patterns determine the flow of power and authenticity of that enterprise. He is a magician, a sorcerer, and calls himself a prophet.”