The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) has confirmed the arrest of Apostle Theophilus Oloche Ebonyi, for allegedly defrauding unsuspecting Nigerians, of sums to the tune of N1.3bn using fake grants from the Ford Foundation.
EFCC’s spokesman, Dele Oyewale in a statement on Monday, said Ebonyi, the General Overseer of Faith on the Rock Ministry International, advertised a fake $20 billion intervention project through his Theobarth Global Foundation.
He had reportedly told his victims, comprising non-governmental organizations and individuals, that a grant was offered to the less privileged persons from the United States Ford Foundation.
According to the EFCC, Ebonyi allegedly asked his church members and other participants to subscribe as beneficiaries of the phony grant by charging for registration forms and clusters, adding that each subscriber was made to pay N1.8 million, through which he obtained N1, 319,040,274.31 from innocent and unsuspecting Nigerians and NGOs across the country.
Oyewale added that the anti-graft agency discovered through investigations that Ford Foundation had no arrangement or business with the pastor.
The commission said that despite his arrest, Ebonyi is still reaching his subscribers on some social media platforms to market his spurious grant from Ford Foundation.
“Investigations by the EFCC showed that Ford Foundation had no arrangement, grant, relationship or business with Ebonyi.
“The Foundation pointedly disclaimed him and his NGO stressing that it had no link whatsoever with them,” the statement read.
The anti-graft agency said it has also traced five properties Ebonyi acquired with the proceeds of his criminal dealings. Oyewale also said the suspect would soon be arraigned once investigations were concluded.