For allegedly defrauding his church prayer partner of N1million, a 48-year-old man, Boniface Ejike, was on Tuesday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court in Lagos, eyeonthenews.com reports.
The accused was arraigned before the Magistrate, Mr A. A. Adesanya, on a charge of conspiracy, fraud and stealing.
Ejike, a resident of No. 42, CAC St., Mushin, Lagos, however, pleaded not guilty and was admitted to a bail of N400,000 with two sureties in like sum.
According to the prosecutor, Insp. George Nwosu, the accused committed the offences sometimes in August, 2016 at Agege, Lagos. He said that the accused conspired with one ‘Pastor Obi, who is yet to be apprehended to defraud a businesswoman, Mrs Rosemary Obor of N1million.
Nwosu said that the complainant and accused were church members and the accused recently joined the complainant’s group.
“The accused who was only a church member worked his way into the prayer group which the complainant belong in order to defraud her. The accused was aware that the complainant is wealthy but was not happy as she has some personal issues that her money could not buy for her.
“He volunteered to be the complainant prayer partner. On the day of their prayer, the accused shared his fake problems with the complainant and ask her to share hers so that they can pray together.
“The complainant told him about her barrenness in her 15-years in marriage, how she lost her only two siblings to robbery attack. And how her father died on the spot when he heard the news of his dead children and other problems ,” he said.
The prosecutor said that the accused suggested that they should engage themselves in a marathon prayer session in which a date was fixed.
“Both gathered at the church for the prayer session but in the middle of it, a man, who later identified himself as a Pastor Obi, burst in and joined them in praying.
“‘Pastor’ Obi claimed that he received some revelations from God about the complainant that he must relate to her. The ‘Pastor’ relayed all the problems confronting the complainant to her claiming that God directed him to her and asked him to deliver her save her life from impending danger.
“The complainant was stunned because neither she nor the accused knew the ‘man of God,’ at least to the best of her knowledge. Pastor Obi then told her that God said she should sow a seed of N1million for her problems to be solved.
“The complainant did not hesitate but rushed to the bank to withdraw the required sum and gave it to ‘Pastor’ Obi, who promised to be back in three days after, for prayers.
“Three days passed and there was no sign of ‘Pastor’ Obi. A month after the encounter, he still did not show up.
“The complainant noticed that the accused had stopped coming for the usual prayer meetings and even the main church service,” he said.
Nwosu said that after two months that the complainant had not seen the accused in church, she decided to visit him to know what happened to him.
“When the complainant got to the accused’s house, she met the accused and Pastor Obi, drinking, smoking and chatting. It was then dawn on the complainant that she had been swindled by the two men. She informed the police, the accused was arrested while Pastor Obi escaped,” he said.
The offences contravened sections 285 and 312 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The accused may be jailed for 15 years if found guilty of fraud according to the provisions of section 312.
The case was adjourned to March 21 for mention.