Three Ghanaian pastors in London paid themselves half a million pounds out of church’s charity account

Michael Eli Dokosi December 17, 2019
Olivia Ansah and Emmanuel Owusu Ansah via

The Akans of Ghana say the human head is not pawpaw to slice open and pry into. This holds true for people who put themselves up for voluntary duty yet aim to make gains.

Three former trustees of a north London Christian charity have been found to have paid themselves more than £450,000 ($591,000) of unauthorized sums.

All three from the Kingdom Life Ministries church’s charity have been disqualified from serving as a trustee or senior manager of any charity in England and Wales for 10 years.

The Charity Commission also found that cash worth more than £700,000 ($919,000) had been withdrawn from the charity’s bank account without proper paperwork.

A statutory inquiry found that the three former trustees received unauthorized payments totaling £456,854 (almost 600,000 dollars) between June 1, 2013, and November 13, 2018.

When the Charity Commission sought to find out organizations which had failed to file their annual returns and reason for the failure, it focused attention on the Kingdom Life Ministries in June 2017.

It emerged the charity had been late in filing its last five sets of accounts, ranging from 681 days late to 38 days late, the commission’s website shows.

The three trustees at the opening of the inquiry were Emmanuel Owusu Ansah, his wife Olivia Ansah and Anthony Osei-Dankwa, an associate pastor.

Kingdom Life Ministries' building in Tottenham, north London
Kingdom Life Ministries’ building in Tottenham, north London via

At an October 2017 meeting with the commission, the trustees said they had decided to pay themselves weekly remuneration of either £200 or £90 to cover costs incurred on behalf of the charity.

The regulator said invoices for construction work, international flights and video production were finally sent to the commission earlier this month but the amounts included did not match the actual withdrawals made.

“When the commission issued an order restricting financial transactions by the charity in June 2018, investigators then noticed a significant reduction in deposits into the charity’s bank account. The former trustees were ordered to pay all charitable funds into the charity’s bank account. They resigned 12 days later on October 30, 2018.”

The regulator had informed the trustees that under the charity’s constitution, it was illegal to pay salaries to trustees yet payments continued even after the Charity Commission had told the charity on April 3, 2018, they must cease, with the trio receiving £28,972 after that date.

Cash withdrawals worth £719,466 were also made, the charity’s bank statements showed. The commission said it was “not possible to establish how the cash withdrawals were used in furtherance of the charity’s objects due to a lack of record keeping.”

People connected to the former trustees also received payments of £38,216 (50,000 dollars) between December 2015 and May 2018, the commission said. A new board has been appointed to the charity.

A report by the Charity Commission said nearly £720,000 (about 945,000 dollars) in cash was withdrawn from the charity’s bank account in three years.

Bishop Ansah, 55, is the founder of Kingdom Life Ministries. The church’s website describes his wife as “first lady” and Osei-Dankwa as an “associate pastor.”

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: December 17, 2019


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