The United Kingdom Government, through the Charity Commission, has opened an inquiry into the activities of a Nigerian-owned church, SPAC Nation.
According to reports, the church is run by 39-year-old Pastor Tobi Adegboyega, a Nigerian, who took up residency in Britain in 2005.
According to the Evening Standard, Adegboyega once shared a room with his cousin, Star Wars actor, John Boyega, after moving to London from Nigeria.
The young cleric is said to “work with young people who have been involved with gangs and street crime”.
The church is being investigated over allegations that pastors were pressuring young people in the congregation to sell their own blood to raise funds, Mail on Sunday reported.
“The Charity Commission said it has opened an inquiry into SPAC Nation to probe financial and safeguarding concerns after claims emerged that pastors had encouraged worshippers to take out loans in order to pay for the church’s lavish spending,” Mail on Sunday claimed.
The commission has ordered the church to deposit all its money in the bank while the investigation lasts.
Trouble allegedly started after the Huffington Post alleged in a report that some members of SPAC Nation had been taking teenagers to donate blood for medical trials in a practice known as “bleeding for seed”.
The Mail On Sunday had alleged that parishioners were encouraged to raise £100,000 a week; while HuffPost UK alleged that young church members claimed that some members go to donate blood and are paid up to £100 by medical trial companies.
“This money is then handed by the young people over to the church’s pastors,” HuffPost UK said.
The reports further alleged that while members were told to raise “the seed” through whatever means — including if they had to “beg, borrow or steal,” pastors in the church cruise around town in £150,000 Rolls-Royces and a Lamborghini with personalised number plates such as ‘Pastor R.R’ on a Rolls Royce allegedly owned by a pastor.
In a series of links on the SPAC Nation’s website, various media reports had earlier focused on the activities of the church and its lead pastor, Adegboyega.
The BBC in a February 1, 2018 report had described SPAC Nation as “The church where drugs and knives are left at the altar;” while The Sunday Times of August 11, 2018 sees it as a church that uses “‘Demonic’ drill rap used to spread the gospel.”