“I only defrauded them of N186m” — Pastor arrested for scamming his members of N500m
The Enugu State police command yesterday said it has arrested the General Overseer of the City of Liberation and Comfort Ministry, Bishop Ginika Obi, for allegedly swindling his members to the tune of over N500 million.
His ministry, located on Enugu-Port Harcourt highway, became a beehive of activities last year as people from various walks of life, especially miracle seekers, trooped to the church.
But the place became a shadow of itself after it was discovered that the non-governmental organization he floated to lure members into investing on the guise of reaping “bountiful dividends” was aimed at defrauding them.
When he was caught in his tracks, the Unuaku Uli self-acclaimed preacher ran away, abandoning his church and members. He was, however, arrested at a hotel in Enugu at the weekend, where he was said to be taking refuge.
The Guardian gathered that Obi had used his non-government organization, ‘Build Your Generational Organization’ to allegedly defraud his members and other unsuspecting members of the public of various huge sums in the hope that they would reap bumper financial dividends after some time.
When the bubble burst last year, he abandoned the church and escaped to Asaba in Delta State and started operating a new church with a new name. He was also said to have changed his title from ‘Bishop’ to ‘Prophet.’
The Enugu State government had, following the discovery and public outcry over his activities, dismantled the church building and gave the land to a private developer as part of the ongoing HELIU residences project.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) in Enugu, Ebere Amaraizu, who confirmed the arrest of the ‘Bishop’, stated that “luck ran out of the suspect over the weekend as he was trailed based on intelligence information to a hotel at Amechi Road, off Agbani Road, Enugu.”
According to Amaraizu: “He is now helping operatives in their investigations in relation to his nefarious activities. He said he never knew his financial non-governmental organization would turn out this way. He disclosed that the amount he defrauded is not up to the sum of N500 million but N186 million.”
Following his arrest, many of his victims are trooping to the office of the officer-in-charge of the monitoring unit in Enugu to catch a glimpse of him. Many of them wore long looks with tears rolling down their cheek.
Blessing Okonkwo Edekin, a widow; Nnenna Okonkwo, a petty trader; and Chidiebere Okolo, did not waste time to narrate their ordeal in the hands of the ‘Bishop’ whom they said had defrauded them of huge sums of money and disappeared without trace with his agents. They expressed happiness at the way the police nabbed him to face justice. The Commissioner of Police, Dan-mallam Mohammed, has directed full-scale investigations into the alleged nefarious activities of the ‘Bishop’.