Thursday, April 21, 2011

Police nab pastors for duping church member

The Lagos State Police Command has arrested a prophetess and her husband for allegedly defrauding a member of their congregation.
The suspects, Ngozi and Emmanuel Okoli, were arrested on April 18 by officers of the Ejigbo Police Station following allegations by a widow, Theresa Onuoha, that the prophetess and her husband allegedly hypnotized her and collected her family inheritance.
The suspects are the founder of God Covenant Ministry, alias City of Deliverance, located at 3 Brethren Avenue, Iyana-Ejigbo, a suburb of Lagos. Mrs Onuoha said the couple hypnotized her with a concoction that made her lose her senses in 2009.
Her story
“I met prophetess and her husband in 2009, through one Emmanuel Nonso Eke,” said Mrs Onuoha. “I was having serials of trouble in my home after my husband died fifteen years ago. The prophetess and her husband interviewed me [and] I told them that since my husband died it is one problem or the other, that my husband was an occult member, and since he died in a mysterious circumstance, strange and evil things stated happening to me and my husband’s family were fighting me.”
The prophetess gave me a concoction and asked me to drink it for seven days and I should fast and pray, [and] since then I did not get myself again. The prophetess told me, during a deliverance session that lasted for three months, that God revealed to her that I should surrender all the property of my late husband to God, that those things belonged to [the] occult and until I surrender them to God, I will not have rest and peace of mind. So that was how the prophetess and her husband came to my house, and under their spell, they packed all the property in my house down to my rug, settee, ten boxes containing clothes, shoes, and other belongings, including my Mercedes Benz car to their house.”
Mrs Onouha said she subsequently moved out of husband’s house and sold her land, allegedly under the instruction of the suspects. “I went to the village to sell my husband’s land, because the prophetess gave me an account number to pay N1.8million proceeds from the land into their Oceanic Bank account,” she said. “But when I told my elder sister about everything, she gave me a hot slap which jolted me to my sense. Immediately I got myself back and I went to demand for my property from the prophetess and her husband, but the prophetess said I cannot get them back. That I have sowed them to God, so that was how I reported to the police.”
Their story
Mr and Mrs Okoli, however, denied the allegation, saying that they are being persecuted. “We prayed for this woman for three months and she willingly on her own surrendered her property to God,” said Mrs Okoli. “She gave us the car to use; and as priests of God, we are entitled to use what is given to God. We have laboured with her and have delivered her from occultism powers. So if this is the way we are been persecuted, then we accept our cross as ministers of God. But God will judge everything.”
The police spokesperson, Samuel Jinadu, said the police recovered Mrs Onuoha’s property form the suspects’ apartment. “The case is under investigation and the suspects will be charged to court for alleged fraud,” he said.


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