Nigeria

Pastor allegedly swindles church member of millions of Naira

A self acclaimed pastor and founder Jesus the General Outreach Ministry based in Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos, ThankGod Udechukwu, has been arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Enugu Zonal Office.

Mr Udechukwu, who hails from Ozalla, Awgu Local Government Area of Enugu State and had taken advantage of one of his kinsmen who trusted him as a ‘Man of God’, was arrested on May 23.

“I am his pastor and man of God. In fact, I used to pray for him to succeed and indeed, I prayed for him before he travelled out to Dubai,” he said.

Apparently with this ‘Messiah’ mindset, the self-styled minister of God set out to rip-off his victim using lies, half-truths and manipulations.

According to the victim and complainant who resides in Dubai, United Arab Emirate, his traumatic ordeals in the hands of Mr Udechukwu started with a suggestion that he hands over four Highlander SUVs he imported to him, claiming that one of his church members was willing to buy the vehicles and other consignments imported with them all of which amounted to N16 million.

The pastor took a huge sum from the total amount realised claiming they were for logistic purposes. He then muted the idea of starting a transport services business and suggested buying two Sienna buses. As if, under a spell, the complainant, after waiting for a while for the remittance of the money realised from the sale, still agreed to the business idea.

Again, with nothing coming out of the transport business, the complainant said he was no more interested in the venture and instructed the suspect to sell off the two buses. Mr Udechukwu reportedly sold one of the buses and converted the proceed to his personal use.

Some months after, the pastor further suggested a business to the complainant and introduced him to one Chuks Amechi who claimed to work with Nigeria Breweries and that he could assist in securing a dealership from the company. He claimed the deal will cost the complainant N2.37 million which he transferred to Mr Amechi company’s account in the name of Royal Homes Furniture Company Limited at First Bank Plc.

The petitioner who had hoped to use part of the proceeds from his investments to start some businesses here in Nigeria was totally devastated when on coming home, discovered to his chagrin that nothing was left as the pastor and his friend had allegedly diverted most of the money realized to their personal use.

Investigation revealed that he used the money in all the businesses to expand his church buildings and take care of personal issues.

The case will be charged to court soon.

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