An investigative journalist called Nicholas Ibekwe has revealed today that in a press briefing TB Joshua offered all the journalists present a N50,000 bribe, to “help me correct some of the things that are written in the newspaper”.
Ibekwe claims he was the only one to turn down the bribe, and better still – he has released an audio recording of the meeting. It is difficult to understand the whole conversation, but it is unmistakably TB Joshua speaking, and we were able to glean the following points.
Audio recording: http://audioboo.fm/boos/2496625-audio-proof
0:28 – this appears to be discussion about the size of the bribe, 50,000 and 70,000 are mentioned. Ibekwe claims he was offered N50,000.
2:05 – TB Joshua says something like “I would be very happy if you would help me correct some of the things that are in the news”
2:20 – the journalists ask for an official statement, TB Joshua responds “what official statement do you want me to give?” A female journalists says “We know investigation is ongoing, but lives have been lost….” at this point TB Joshua cuts her off with a joke and gets everyone laughing.
3:35 – journalists say “thank you, thank you” as if they are being given something, TB Joshua jokes “so what are you going to write now?” Everyone laughs.
If you understand anything in the recording we’ve missed, or think we’ve got anything wrong, please leave it in the comments.
What is clear from the recording is that TB Joshua shows absolutely no remorse for the fact that a building in his church has killed more than 80 people. He sees it as a massive inconvenience to him, but not a tragedy. Frequently he turns the whole thing into a joke. It is also worryingly obvious that TB Joshua has the journalists (or at least most of them) feeding from his hand.
Ibekwe has said on twitter that since releasing the recording, his family are being harrased. Let’s pray for his protection and for more journalists and government officials to have the bravery to stand up to this corrupt church.