When prophesying in God’s name gets lucrative
How we swindle worshipers, suspected fake prophets
They had for a long time enjoyed a field day by allegedly defrauding many people in the guise of working as God’s ‘prophets’ until Saturday when the long arm of the law caught up with them at the Holy Ghost Park, Ogui Enugu, while on an errand to “swindle” other victims.
The five suspected fake prophets, who claimed they had in the past been instrumental to the growth of many churches and ministries, were on their way to Abakaliki, Ebonyi State, to link up with the head of a ministry there with the intent to extend their nefarious act.
The police in Enugu, which gave their names as Obi Ejike from Ubaho Okija in Ihiala, Anambra State; Kuku Mary from Ijebu Ode, Ogun State; Oluwakemi Joy from Ojo, Lagos State; Nwosu Chizoba from Umunze, Anambra State; and Peter Uchechi from Ebonyi State, said they specialized in feeding the public with “fake prophecies” at concerts and church programmes.
The syndicate, The Guardian gathered, has many persons in its fold, who they dispatch to various religious programmes. The five suspects, who were detailed to go to Abakaliki on the invitation of a ministry, were arrested at a motor park.
According to a statement signed by the Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Enugu, Ebere Amaraizu, “while waiting for their bus at the park, a quarrel broke out between Joy and Ejike that attracted the attention of security operatives close to the arena.
Amaraizu stated that from their statements, which contradicted each other when the police intervened, it heightened suspicion that they were into “notorious activities”, and as such led security operatives into inquiring further on the nature of their activities.
“The duo revealed that they were into some activities and that other members of the group were waiting at the P&T bus stop for movement to Abakaliki, which made police trace them to the place to arrest them.”
Disclosing their modus operandi, Amaraizu stated: “One of the suspects, Peter Uchechi, a female, maintained that they were recruited in large numbers and kept in a house at Onitsha, Anambra State, from where they shuttle to various states of the country to confirm a prophecy for the purpose of winning more souls for a church or ministry.
She confirmed that they are usually paid through their coordinator, who hired the house, where they are kept.
“They can be detailed to go to any state and the phone number of the contact person in the said church/ministry is usually provided to them for easy communication on arrival. They usually dialogue with the linkman to the pastor of the church/ministry on the shape the job will take.
“She went ahead to reveal that they usually state their names, nature of problem they have and other necessary information, which is given to the pastor for his guidance and during the prophetic session, one of them will be among the people with the said problem that will come out. The pastor then using the said information will prophecy and the fellow will give a confirmation before the congregation.
“The pastor will touch the fellow, he or she will fall and the pastor will proclaim the problem was over and that he/she has received healing and through that way, members of the congregation will believe that the pastor was powerful and a man of God and this will attract more members to the church. He stated that they were usually paid in the end through their coordinator.”
Obi Ejike, who also confirmed their illicit deal, disclosed that he worked hand in hand with the coordinator, adding that he was the link person for Abakiliki and Enugu jobs.
Ejike maintained that he joined the lucrative prophecy job after he lost his business to the activities of fraudsters in Lagos and relocated to Onitsha. He also recruits candidates for the group.
Nwosu Chizoba, a mother of one, who corroborated the stories of her colleagues, pointed out that she joined the business in Abuja before relocating to Onitsha.
Oluwakemi Joy and Kuku Mary, who are mothers of four children each, said they left their marriages to join the business through their friends, to enable them make a living.