419: Pastor Docked For Defrauding Church Members


Pastor John Akuma of God’s Elect Assembly, Aguda, Surulere, Lagos State, has landed in trouble after the prophecy he made later turned out to be false.

The prophecy has scattered the church and members have arrested him for allegedly duping them.

Pastor Akuma was alleged to have told members of his church that God wanted to change their lives through him, saying he had divine call to preach the gospel outside Nigeria and offered to take some of them overseas.

He allegedly told those willing to travel to pay N400,000, while he explained to them that the money was meant for their travel documents and provision of job abroad so that the prophecy he made would be fulfilled.

Those the the pastor allegedly duped are Ejike Paul who paid N430,000; Uju Nwegbu, N170,000 and his elder brother Okwu, who was allegedly duped N10.2 million and an Acura Legend car, among others.

Narrating their ordeal, Ejike said his friend introduced him to the pastor and when he met him, he started prophesying to him that God revealed to him that he would become rich if he travels abroad and convinced him to bring the money. He said he thought Akuma was a genuine man of God and therefore believed him.

Akuma assured Ejike that his life would surely change and he had to sell some of his property to raise the money.

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Ejike said that he got to know that other members had been duped when the pastor bolted with the money and abandoned the church. Some of the church members were complaining and began to look for him, while the church scattered.

Ejike said the pastor was arrested after hiding for several months and abandoning his church. He was handed to the police at Surulere station and was charged to a magistrate’s court for fraud and stealing under Section 419 and 390 of the Criminal Code Cap 17 Vol. 2 Laws of Lagos State 2003.

When he was arraigned before the court presided over by Mrs. A. O. Adegite, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charge and was granted bail.

Contacting the pastor, he confirmed to P.M. NEWS that he had problem with some of his church members. He also confirmed that he had paid Uju her money, while making efforts to settle Ejike so that the matter will be settled out of court.

The matter, however, has been adjourned till 30 May 2011, for trial.

—Cyriacus Izuekwe

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