Prophet held for ‘swindling’ widow of N18m
A renowned prophet with the Celestial Church of Christ, Alfa and Omega parish, Cotonou, Republic of Benin capital, Peter Ononuju, has been arrested for allegedly defrauding a widow of N18 million.
The prophet is being quizzed at the Force Criminal Intelligence and Investigations Department (FCIID), Alagbon Close Ikoyi, Lagos State. He was alleged to have swindled a widow with the intention of procuring a landed property for her at Lekki area of the state.
Parading the suspect at his FCIID office in Alagbon close, Ikoyi, the Commissioner of Police in charge of FCIID, Dan Okoro, said Ononuju swindled the widow of N18 million, but that the victim later discovered that the land belonged to his ex-wife.
“When the lady discovered the fraud, she reported to my office and I detailed detectives to go after the prophet and he was promptly arrested.”
Okoro said detectives during investigation discovered that the suspect collected N16 million cash and asked the widow to pay the other N2 million into his bank account, adding that information gathered revealed that the suspect had other intention.
“He is presently being interrogated, after which he would be charged to court.”
The FCIID boss used the medium to warn fraudsters in Nigeria to either repent or face the full wrath of the law, adding that the police were now better equipped to trail fraudsters.
He advised people to be wary of those who claimed to be pastors during business transaction, saying that they tend to take advantage of the gullible nature of true believers to swindle them of their hard-earned money.
“The so-called prophet took advantage of the relationship he has with the widow to swindle her. From the beginning he had the intention of defrauding the woman.
Later, he started threatening to kill the woman and her children when they discovered that he had swindled them.”
The victim, Oluchi Grace, said she knew the prophet for over two decades and trusted him as a man of God.
She said: “As a man of God, I confided in him that I needed to buy a property and he told me he knew someone that had one.
He told me he had seen the one of N12 million and he said I should not pay him the money through the bank.
“As a man of God I paid him cash. After the N12 million he started giving me reasons to pay him more money.
He said he needed money for Omo Onile and Certificate of Occupancy from the Lagos State government.
I paid him another N6 million but he did not give me any document.
“I later discovered that the land in question belongs to his ex-wife who is remarried and based in the United States of America with her new husband.
My son discovered her contact from her Facebook account. When we contacted her, she told us she was not selling the said property.
In fact she rained abuses on us. When the prophet realized that the game was up, he started threatening to kill us.
That was why I ran to the police before anything happens to me or my children.”
In his statement, Ononuju said the transaction he had with the widow was genuine until one of her sons advised her to collect the money already paid.
He said the land was still there, adding that all documents concerning the land were in the lady’s hands.
“I only acted as a middleman. She came to me to say I should help her look for a land.
Because of the existing relationship between the two families, I went all out to ensure that I get her a good land but look at where it has landed me,” he added.