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Nigeria Pastor Dupes Church Member Of N4.5million

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A Believers’ Love World Ministry aka Christ Embassy Church Pastor based in Port Harcourt, Gobari Maxwell, has been accused of defrauding one of his church members, Osazuwa Okungbowa, to the tune of of N4.5 million.

The church pastor was reported to have tricked his member, the victim, into believing that he would help him purchase two plots of land near the Port Harcourt Polytechnic, Bori Camp.

Speaking at the pastor’s appearance in court yesterday, a detective of the Cyber-crime section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Shedrach Ternenge Iyo, disclosed to the court that the commission had received a petition from the complainant sometime in September 2013.

The complainant in the petition alleged that his church pastor collected the sum of N4.5 million from him through his wife’s First Bank account to secure two plots of land, however, the accused was not invited by the EFCC following the submission of the petition because he could not be reached.

Iyo further revealed that the Pastor was later arrested in Port Harcourt and brought to Lagos for proper investigation.

The charge sheet of the suspect however revealed that Maxwell committed the alleged offence on June 12, 2012.

The detective said: “During investigation, the agency sent a letter to the two banks which were used for the transaction; a First Bank account belonging to the complainant’s wife and a Diamond Bank account belonging to the pastor, requesting for account statements.

“When we received the banks’ response, we analysed both accounts and discovered that the sum transferred for the land purchase was N3.8 million while N700,000 was transferred as a loan to the pastor.”

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The detective disclosed that the complainant made the payment in seven installments to the pastor through his wife’s bank account from June 24 to May 31, 2012.

“After volunteering a statement and being read a caution, the pastor confessed to have received the money but claimed he used it to settle his elder brother’s hospital bills, who was brought back to Nigeria from the United States of America (USA) for treatment.”

Iyo, when asked if the agency visited the land said, “we didn’t visit the land since the accused had told us that there was actually no land to visit and besides the area was under grave crises.”

“The pastor told the commission that there is no land and he didn’t have any specific land to buy for him, besides the area he had promised to purchase for him was already having community fights.”

Presiding over the case, Justice Kudirat Jose adjourned the matter till April 13 and 14 for trial.

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