Charity Commission investigates Spac Nation ‘Church of Bling with video

A church is being investigated over allegations that pastors were pressuring young people in the congregation to sell their own blood to raise funds.

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.

The commission, which describes the London church as a charity set up to ‘advance Christianity’ that works particularly with young people, has ordered it to bank all their money while the investigation takes place.

Pictured: Pastor Tobi Adegboyega

The Charity Commission has opened an inquiry into SPAC Nation after allegations emerged that pastors had told worshippers to take out loans and even sell their blood. Pictured: Pastor Tobi Adegboyega

The church is run by Nigerian pastor Tobi Adegboyega (pictured), 39, who came to Britain in 2005

The church is run by Nigerian pastor Tobi Adegboyega (pictured), 39, who came to Britain in 2005 

The news comes after HuffPost UK reported allegations that some members of the church had been taking teenagers to donate blood for medical trials in a practice known as ‘bleeding for seed’.

Last month, it was reported that SPAC Nation’s leaders had been accused of threatening parishioners who fail to raise enough money and one pastor had even urged her followers to ‘beg, borrow or steal’ in order to gather money for the church.

The Mail On Sunday revealed that one senior leader, Mariam Mola, 30, whose real name is Mariam Mbula, 30,  had been jailed in the UK, Belgium and Spain, and was also wanted for leading a crime gang in Italy. 

Mariam Mbula is alleged to have preyed on a woman with a daughter with Down’s Syndrome out of more than £15,000

The church is run by the Nigerian pastor Tobi Adegboyega, 39, who came to Britain in 2005

Spac Nation pastors Mariam Mbula (left) and Tobi Adeboyega (right) allegedly told their parishioners to raise £100,000 a week

It emerged that pastors inside the church are known for driving around in £150,000 Rolls-Royces and a Lamborghini with personalised ‘Pastor’ (pictured)

It emerged that pastors inside the church are known for driving around in £150,000 Rolls-Royces and a Lamborghini with personalised ‘Pastor’ (pictured)

Mr Adegboyega (pictured, home in October) has previously been invited to meet officials at Downing Street

Mr Adegboyega (pictured, home in October) has previously been invited to meet officials at Downing Street 

The senior leader, who had previously appeared on shows including This Morning and been praised for turning her life around after she was jailed for fraud at the age of 18, had at least 13 convictions for 34 offences; 27 for fraud and dishonesty. 

It was also reported that Mbula had once preyed on a woman with a Down’s syndrome daughter in order to gain £15,000 from her funds.

Labour MP Steve Reed, the Shadow Children’s Minister, previously told The Mail on Sunday: ‘The allegations I have received about Spac Nation from vulnerable young people are truly disturbing. 

‘Victims are saying it is run like a cult. I want there to be a full investigation.’

A picture outside Tobi Adegboyega’s home showed  Range Rovers and  until recently he was living in a £2.5 million house

Scotland Yard said it was reviewing the complaints against the church, which is run by Nigerian pastor Tobi Adegboyega, 39, who came to Britain in 2005. 

The church, which denies the claims, has previously been praised by politicians for its work in tackling gang violence and protecting young people at risk of knife crime.

The Labour MP Steve Reed, the Shadow Children’s Minister, told the Mail On Sunday that the allegations he had received about Spac Nation were  ‘truly disturbing'” class

The Labour MP Steve Reed, the Shadow Children’s Minister, told the Mail On Sunday that the allegations he had received about Spac Nation were  ‘truly disturbing’

The commission said a case had been opened on SPAC Nation in April last year, and in November this year information received from the trustees ‘raised further concerns about the charity’s financial controls, policy and procedures’.

In a statement, it added: ‘Of immediate concern to the commission is that substantial amounts of charity money are held in cash.

‘As a protective measure, the commission has issued an order under Section 84 of the Charities Act, requiring the charity to bank its money.

‘The commission is also concerned about the apparent lack of clarity between the personal, business and charity roles of leaders within the charity.’

The commission said it opened the inquiry to ‘examine matters furthers’ after allegations emerged that individuals had been encouraged to give money to the charity by ‘taking on personal debt’.

A Charity Commission spokesman said: ‘The issues that have been raised related to SPAC Nation in recent weeks are highly concerning, even more so as the allegations are entirely at odds with the expectations about the way that charities will operate.

SPAC Nation’s ‘Church of Bling’

The evangelical church claims to be a ‘faith based organisation that is committed in seeing the lives of young people being transformed’  

The organisation is run by the Nigerian pastor Tobi Adegboyega, 39, who came to Britain in 2005 

Allegations of fraud emerged last month and the church is now under investigation 

The church has previously been praised by politicians for helping young people who are at risk of knife crime 

The church, which featured in a BBC documentary last year, claims 55 per cent of its congregation are ex-gang members 

‘The opening of this inquiry is an important step that will allow us to examine these concerns further and establish the facts.

‘We will seek to provide assurance to the public and the community that these matters will be considered fully and, where necessary, resolved.’

A report with the commission’s findings is expected to be published once the investigation is concluded.   

In a statement from its board of trustees, SPAC Nation said the inquiry was ‘needful to lay to rest some unverified allegations,’ adding: ‘Inquiry is what we have always asked for.

‘If anything is found wrong we will adjust it, and if not we will keep going strong.

‘If any pastor or leader is caught pressuring people to donate, such leader will be expelled without delay, not to talk of pressuring to donate blood for money.

‘We encourage people to donate blood and all they can for the community but we also say not for money ever, that just won’t happen here.’ 

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