How Gambian Pastor stole 52 phones, money in Ibadan

silhouette of a pastor

A vector silhouette illustration of a pastor preaching

By Chidinma Ewunonu-Aluko

Residents of Aponrin in the Agbowo area of Ibadan are now on the trail of a pastor who allegedly absconded with 52 Androids and iPhones, money and other valuables after a three-day crusade.

He allegedly told his victims that he was led by God to travel from Gambia to Ibadan for the crusade.

On the last day of the crusade, the cleric claimed that the Holy Spirit directed him to tell those in attendance to submit their phones, money, and other valuables.

However, he absconded with those items.

The victims claimed that on the final day of the crusade, the pastor who had seduced them into three days of fasting and prayer, had vanished, despite their best efforts to find him.

Mrs. Grace Akintola, a victim, claimed that many widows attended the crusade because the pastor promised to give each of them a bag of rice and cash.

Akintola, a widow, claimed that the “man of God” additionally promised to provide the students who attended the crusade with scholarships.

“The pastor approached an Igbo lady in our area to assist him to gather widows and students and that he wanted to help us. Someone in my area invited me to the crusade. The crusader put on priest’s regalia. He even said he would buy a fully-furnished house for one of us.

“The pastor equally promised some of those who attended the crusade money, the kind of money that even politicians could not give. On the last day of the crusade, he (pastor) sold a bottle of water for us at the rate of N4,800; he said that the water had been mixed with perfume and many people paid for it,” she said.

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Another victim, a student of the University of Ibadan, who pleaded anonymity, said that the pastor ordered them to fast for three days.

He said that he collected their phones so as to keep them away from them and allow them to focus on prayers, unknown to them that it was a trick to get rid of their belongings.

“He said no phone should ring during the programme and that was why he collected all of them. In fact, he snapped at a lady who stood up and wanted to take his photograph and seized the phone from her,” he said.

According to him, on the last day of the crusade, the pastor said he wanted to go and rest at the hotel where he had lodged.

“He (pastor) later said he wanted to go and eat inside the University of Ibadan after which we didn’t know how he escaped with our belongings.

“As a man of God that he claimed to be, we respected him a lot. We didn’t know that he wanted to use the name of God to dupe us,” he said.

Meanwhile, the pastor has been declared wanted by residents of the area, and posters with his name and picture have been circulated to track him down.

Adewale Osifeso, the Oyo State Police Public Relations Officer, confirmed the incident in a text message.

Osifeso stated that an investigation had begun and that updates would be provided.


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