from EMEKA OKONKWO in Abuja, Nigeria
ABUJA, (CAJ News) – A self-acclaimed pastor has been arrested for allegedly swindling an overseas-based member of his church of over N18 million (more than R630 000) in bogus business deals.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has detained the suspect, ThankGod Udechukwu, founder of General Outreach Ministry based in Lagos, on allegations of conning the complainant based in United Arab Emirates.
The beleaguered churchman allegedly suggested the victim sends four vehicles for sale back in Nigeria. The vehicles cost a combined N16 million (R554 500).
Udechukwu allegedly converted the money to his own use but claimed to the Dubai-based church member the vehicles had been deployed for use in the logistics of the church.
He allegedly further muted the idea of a transport services business and suggested the victim buy two buses.
After losing interest in the venture, the complainant instructed the self-styled pastor to sell the buses. He allegedly sold one bus and converted the proceeds to his use.
Months later, the church leader introduced the complainant to one Chuks Amechi who claimed to work with Nigeria Breweries and could assist in securing a dealership from the company.
The complainant duly obliged, paying N2,37 million (82 135).
The petitioner reported the controversial pastor upon recently returning home to discover he had been swindled.
Wilson Uwujaren, EFCC spokesperson, said investigations revealed the pastor used the funds to expand his church buildings and personal issues.
“He will be charged in court soon,” Uwujaren said.
– CAJ News