Lagos - The country's oldest preacher, who seven years ago married a woman 77 years his junior, has died, church officials said on Wednesday. He was said to have been 114.
The Reverend Samuel Akinbode Sadela died on Sunday after a brief illness associated with old age, a senior official in his Gospel Apostolic Church in the Gbagada district of Lagos told AFP.
"Papa (Sadela) died shortly after he took ill. We really miss the pastor who founded and nurtured the church to its present level," said the official, who asked not to be named.
Sadela, a widely-travelled churchman who had preached in the United States and Britain, maintained that he was born in August 1900, according to his congregation. But no official document supports the claim.
If he was born on that date, he would have been the oldest man in the world.
Dozens of church members, sympathisers and relations queued on Wednesday to sign a book of condolence in the church grounds.
Sadela, who had been on the pulpit for 82 years, married his third wife in 2007, a 30-year-old woman called Christiana.
His first marriage, which yielded seven children, none of whom survived infancy, lasted 21 years. He married his second wife in 1965 and had four children, two of whom died. She passed away in 2001.
Guinness World Records on August 20 confirmed Sakari Momoi, of Japan, as the world's oldest living man as 111 years 196 days. He was born on February 5, 1903.
The oldest living person is Japanese woman, Misao Okawa, 116, who was born on March 5, 1898.
The oldest person ever to have lived is Jeanne Calment of France, who lived to 122 years and 164 days. The oldest man ever, Jiroemon Kimura, of Japan, died on June 12, 2013 aged 116 years 54 days.