Onyenagada: Father Anthony Onyenagada

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Onyenagada photo London Free Press

Rev. Anthony Onyenagada (London Free Press photo)

Anthony Onyenagada

Anthony Chidi Onyengada

Anthony Chidi Uzodimma Onyenagada

Father Tony  Onyenagada

Nigerian priest.  Ordained 09 August 1996

Visited Canada in 2004 – filled in at various parishes in London Diocese, including St. Christopher Roman Catholic Church in Forest, Ontario (Diocese of London, Ontario).  According to media reports, allegations of sexual assault and rape of Ontario woman during his time at the parish.  Diocese informed.  Woodstock police eventually contacted by victim –  11 charges laid in relation to the allegations .  By the time charges were laid Father Onyenagada had left Canada.  A Canada-wide warrant was issued for his arrest.  Lawsuit launched (settled out of court).

In 2013 Father Onyenagada managed to return to Canada; he was featured on a parish website as a guest at a charity fundraiser.  Onyenagada, a wanted man, had managed to cross the border into Canada without incident.

There seems to have been no publicity surrounding the laying of the criminal charges in 2004, nor, it seems, did the Diocese of London notify parishioners of the allegations or the charges.

It was after the 2004 visit that a charity named OBIOMA was launched.  Obioma, Nigerian for “good heart,” is a registered charity which loans money to Nigerian women wanting to start small businesses.  Father Onyenagada is still active with the Nigerian arm of the charity.  OBIOMA Nigeria is described by the media as an organization with ‘special interest in human and economic development through economic empowerment programmes for women and youths.’

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01 December 2016:  Thousands of alleged fugitives nabbed at Canadian borders in wake of CBC Toronto investigation

28 March 2015:  ‘In the one moment, I lost everything’

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Bishops of Diocese of London Ontario since Father Onyenagada is first known to have arrived int he diocese:  Ronald Peter Fabbro, C.S.B. (27 April 2002 – – )

 Auxiliary Bishops:  Robert Anthony Daniels ( 21 September 2004 to 01 March 2011)

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2015:  listed on “Current List of Priests,”  Okigwe Diocese , Nigeria

09 February 2013:  Returning to St. Christopher Roman Catholic Church, Forest, Ontario to give update  on progress of OBIOMA (and attend 6th Annual “Good Heart” Valentine Dinner Dance?)  (Fr. Tony Onyenagada  visit to St. Christopher Parish OBIOMA Valentine Dance)

 July 2008-30 June 2011:  assisting San Nicola Vescovo, Motta di Livenza, Diocese of Vittorio Veneto, Italy (Padre Onyenagada in Italy 2008 to 2011,  Diocese of Vittorio Veneto)  (Onyenagada assisting in Italy 2009 to 2011)

16 June 2011:  Doctorate  thesis at Saint Pius X, Faculty of Canon Law, Marcianum, Venica.  Thesis:   Pastoral council in the administration of a local Church. The Implementation of Canons 511 and 536 (CIC/1983) in the dioceses of Owerri Ecclesiastical Province of Nigeria

19 January 2009:  Speaker at commissioning ceremony for Mini palm oil processing mill .  Identified as Coordinator of Obioma Foundation Nigeris, an organization with ‘special interest in human and economic development through economic empowerment programmes for women and youths.’ (Rev. Fr. Anthony Chidi Onyenagada coordinator for Obiomo Foundation Nigeria)

 

2009:  In Rome???   see http://www.dfwcatholic.org/papal-actions-29092424/.html

16 February 2006:  In Venice  (Father Anthony Chidi Onyenagada in Venice)

English google translation of excerpt from above document – -original text below)

Anthony and language barriers. Fr Anthony Chidi Onyenagada comes from Africa, namely Nigeria (Diocese of Okignol, Imostate): 34 years old, is a priest for nine and he also had a role as coordinator of the diocesan Justice, Development and Peace (and therefore active in social ministry). And struggling, at this time, especially with language barriers that inhibit a bithis need to communicate and to learn but is very confident and has therefore, once returned to his country, to get back at the disposal of the bishop and to contribute to life of his Church with the knowledge and skills that, meanwhile, will have acquired here deepening the field of canon law.

Anthony e gli ostacoli linguistici. Anche don Anthony Chidi Onyenagada arriva dall’Africa e precisamente dalla Nigeria (diocesi di Okignol, Imo-state): ha 34 anni, è sacerdote da 9 ed anche lui aveva un compito diocesano come coordinatore del settore giustizia, sviluppo e pace (e dunque attivo nella pastorale sociale). E’ alle prese, in questo momento, soprattutto con gli ostacoli linguistici che frenano un po’ il suo bisogno di comunicare ed apprendere ma è molto fiducioso e conta perciò, una volta tornato nel suo paese, di rimettersi a disposizione del vescovo e contribuire alla vita della sua Chiesa con le conoscenze e le capacità che, intanto, avrà qui acquisito approfondendo il campo del Diritto canonico.

 

2004: visiting St. Christopher Roman Catholic Church, Forest, Ontario (Diocese of London, Ontario). As a result of that visit OBIOMA was founded (OBIOMA Relief Organization of Canada).  OBIAMA,  Nigerian for “good heart,” is a registered charity which loans money to Nigerian women wanting to start small businesses (Scroll down)

June 2003:  Diocesan Co-ordinator of Diocese of Okegwe Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC)

1987/1988 Academic Year:  Seat of Wisdom Seminary, Owerri, Nigeria

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 Nigerian priest charged with sex assault allowed through Canadian border

Ontario woman shocked that man accused of assaulting her allowed back into Canada from Nigeria

CBC Toronto

Posted: Feb 17, 2015 6:00 AM ET Last Updated: Feb 17, 2015 6:12 AM ET

By Sarah Bridge, John Lancaster, CBC News

An Ontario woman says she had been assured that a countrywide arrest warrant would prevent a Nigerian priest charged with sexually assaulting her from ever returning to Canada.

Nearly a decade later, she found evidence that Rev. Anthony Onyenagada had been allowed back into the country.

“It bothers me to hear so much attention being spent on people not coming into Canada,” she told CBC News in an interview, “[but] they didn’t catch the priest who raped me. And there were charges for him.”

Onyenagada, a Roman Catholic priest from Nigeria, visited the woman’s southwestern Ontario church in 2004.

The woman, whose identity CBC News has agreed to protect, was an administrative employee at the parish. She says he confined and sexually assaulted her there, shattering her relationship with a church she once loved.

The woman reported the allegations to the local diocese in London, Ont., and later went to authorities. Woodstock police laid 11 criminal charges against the priest in connection with the alleged assault and issued a Canada-wide warrant for his arrest. But by that time Onyenagada had already left Canada.

Suspect returns

The woman sued the diocese of London over the alleged assault. In 2013, while she was still in the midst of a lengthy legal battle, the woman came across an ad for a charity fundraiser on a local parish website that featured Onyenagada as a guest.

The fundraiser had been held only months earlier, and had been promoted by a church under the same diocese she was suing.

“I remember just starting to shake and just saying to my husband, ‘Is this possible’?” she said.

She wasn’t the only one who was astounded. Staff Sgt. Marcia Shelton of the Woodstock police laid the original charges, and told CBC news, “Certainly, to our agencies it was a surprise.” She confirmed that the priest is still a wanted man.

The woman called the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) and later contacted her local member of Parliament to find out whether Onyenagada had, in fact, been admitted to the country.

Last December, she received an email response from her MP’s assistant, saying that the MP “has been made aware by [Public Safety Minister Steven] Blaney that CBSA apologizes that Mr. Onyenagada was able to re-enter Canada and that [the woman’s] comments have been noted by CBSA and they will take the appropriate action.”

The email advised her to contact the agency’s Border Watch Line should she gain any information “regarding future travel” by Onyenagada.

‘Slap in the face’

The woman called the government response “a huge slap in the face.” She said, “It took [the MP] almost seven months for us to get a response and the response was you know, something to the lines of, ‘Sorry he got in.'”

In an email, a spokesman for the border agency said the agency won’t comment on specific cases, but that the safety and protection of Canadians are its top priorities.

For the woman, Onyenagada’s appearance was yet another institutional failure. “Who do you believe anymore?” she said. “I was told priests would be helpful. That didn’t happen. Then, I was told the bishop would fix things and that didn’t happen. And the police got involved and laid the charges, and then he still got back into Canada.”

The London diocese confirmed that in 2013 Onyenagada “apparently visited the parish at the request of some parishioners for some type of fundraising event for a charity in Nigeria.” He stayed at a parishioner’s home.

“The pastor of that parish, unfortunately, failed to follow our protocols in this instance,” said Mark Adkinson, a director of communications for the diocese. “If he had, a flag would have been raised during the process for granting permission and Fr. Onyenagada would not have been allowed at any of our churches.”

Adkinson also told CBC News that the diocese found out about Onyenagada’s presence in southwestern Ontario after the event. He said they followed up with the pastor, “who quickly realized the seriousness of his oversight and was understandably quite upset about the news.”

The church called Onyenagada’s return “an isolated incident of someone not following some basic protocols, and learning the hard way why we have them in place.”

Williams said Onyenagada is still a member of the Nigerian chapter of Obioma, a charity that provides microcredit loans to women in Nigeria.

According to the charity’s website, it was founded in 2004 when Onyenagada was filling in as a priest at a number of parishes in southwestern Ontario.

Charity unaware of charges

CBC News contacted Ken Williams, a member of the Obioma Relief Organization of Canada, the charity that invited Onyenagada back to Canada two years ago. Williams told CBC News over the phone that Onyenagada arrived in Canada by plane in 2013, and that he stayed in the country for a few days with members of the Obioma charity.

Williams wouldn’t say more about who hosted the priest.

Williams said that he wasn’t aware of the charges against Onyenagada until after his 2013 visit, when he was contacted by police. Williams said he was shocked to hear about the charges.

“Now that we are aware of the charges we will be looking at that,” he said, referring to Onyenagada’s status at the charity.

At the time of the priest’s re-entry into Canada he would have needed a visa to visit. He also would have had to clear customs upon arrival.

Just last month, Public Safety Minister Steven Blaney praised Canada’s border safety when it comes to individuals who have already been convicted of sex crimes. He announced that to date, Canada’s “effective border policies have ensured that over 150 [U.S.] sex offenders were prevented from entering Canada and kept off our streets.”

If you have any information on this, or any other story you would like investigated, please contact CBC Toronto’s Investigative Unit: sarah.bridge@cbc.ca and john.lancaster@cbc.ca

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Group wants police invasion of Umuaro, Umuakiri villages probed

BNW News (news.biafranigeriaworld.com)

By Chidi Nkwopara
Thursday, June 12, 2003

OWERRI—THE Justice, Development and Peace Commission (JDPC) of the Catholic Diocese of Okigwe has called for an immediate investigation into the recent invasion of Umuaro and Umuakiri villages, Ehime Mbano Local Government Area of Imo State by the police. The appeal was contained in a press statement signed by the Diocesan Co-ordinator of JDPC, Rev. Fr. Anthony Chidi Onyenagada. The Catholic diocese says such a probe into the incident which claimed precious human lives and property worth millions of naira, “is absolutely necessry” in the interest of justice, peace and development.

“The killings in Imo State has become so worrisome that something must be done to stop the ugly trend,” Rev. Fr. Onyenagada stated. JDPC recalled with grief that the ugly police invasion of Umuaro and Umuokiri occured barely one month after a detachment of police personel massacred some members of the Movement for Actualization of the Sovereign State of Biafra (MASSOB) within the jurisdiction of Okigwe Catholic diocese. The organisation roundly condemned what it termed “the state government’s failure to make official statements” when life and property of its citizens are recklessly destroyed.

According to the press statement, an independent panel of fearless jurists would obviously find out the cause(s) of the crisis, the damage recorded in the dastardly invasion, as well as inform the public of the true situation of things and ultimately bring the culprits to book. “The public have a right to know the real truth of the matter. Such a probe will recommend measures which would forestal future recurrence,” Rev. Fr. Onyenagada stated. The church organisation called on law enforcement agencies to be more cautious in crisis management, minimize the high rate of recklessness and careless killings associated with their personnel.

“We wish to recommend to our people that in a democratic nation like ours, every person has the constitutional right to life and dignity of the human person, ownership of property, personal liberty, fair hearing, freedom of thought, conscience and religion, freedom of expression and the press, among others. These rights must be respected,” the Catholic Church insisted. JDPC further noted that the continuing delay by government and other related agencies, to adequately address “this reckless and needless destruction of precious human lives and property” have the ugly potentials of degenerating into more social disturbances. While applauding the visit of the state Deputy Governor, Engr. Ebere Udeagu, to the scene of the disaster, JDPC also called on government to, as a matter of utmost urgency, rehabilitate the affected persons and families, even as the probe would be allowed to go on concurrently.

“JDPC also urges public spirited individuals and organisations to assist in the rehabilitation work”, Rev. Fr. Onyenagda pleaded.

Meanwhile, Okigwe Catholic diocese has played host to a high powered Austrian delegation, led by a Mayor, Mag. Joseph Hosel. Other prominent members of the 10 man delegation were Dr. Andreas Tessarek and Monsignor Franz Schritwieser, who is the Vice President of the Austrian Canisius Werk and the Director of the Austrian Propeaeutilcum in Horn. Speaking during reception orgnaised by the diocese at Okigwe, in honour of the visitors, the Bishop, Rt. Rev. Dr. Anthony Ilonu, commended the Austrians for what he termed “your unflinching support and benevolence to the diocese”.

Vanguard gathered that the Austrian visitors are friends of Rev. Fr. Emeka Emeakaroha who, through his contacts, hs contributed a lot not only to his home parish, Umuohu Umuderim but also to Okigwe diocese as a whole.

3 Responses to Onyenagada: Father Anthony Onyenagada

  1. Odogwu-Aganaga says:

    nigerian catholic priests take the first place in being fugitives of justice. they commit unspeakable crimes in europe and the americas and escape to nigeria to continue their job of extortion and predatory escapades.

  2. Sandra Carleton says:

    Where did this priest live from say about 2012 to present day.

    Did he ever live at Assumption Parish in Ottawa?

  3. Sylvia says:

    I think he’s back in Nigeria Sandra, but true enough may well still be travelling to Canada to fund-raise. There is really no way of knowing unless someone who has seen him or knows that he is or was visiting in a particular area talks.

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