A Nigerian man Identified as Pastor Okechukwu Joseph, who is the General Overseer of the Sufficient Grace Church, has been arrested by the operatives of the State Intelligence Bureau (SIB), Lagos State Police Command, for defrauding church members.
A source disclosed to the police that the pastor pretended to be in need of money to take care of some projects, including fixing his car, and approached members to borrow from them with the promise of paying back as soon as possible.
The source further disclosed that once he collects any money from a victim he starts giving flimsy excuses until the victim gets tired, adding that most of his victims are women who do daily contribution (ajo) business.
However, his obtaining money by false pretence came to the fore after defrauding two women who do daily contribution business, huge sums of money. It was gathered that he had been making empty promises of paying back for about eight years.
Pastor Okechukwu Joseph, the suspect, said: “I am married with two children. I am from Okwe Oboro, Umuahia, Abia State. I know the complainant Miss Bridget Nwankwo as a member of my church. I had no misunderstanding with her.
What really happened is that I collected N308,000 from her to do some reconstruction work in my church where we were before I relocated, due to circumstances beyond my control.
I paid her N100,000. I was not able to pay the remaining N208,000, because money was not coming to me as before. She later reported me to SIB. The church I am pastoring is a growing church.
If you look at my body physique you will think that I have money. I had problems and that was why I had no money to pay her. I had a very serious financial problem.”