•Cleric: Give Me Time To Make Refund To Victim, others
This is the story of Prophet Adeniyi Abiodun of CAC Freedom City International, located at No 7, Gbogi Street, Akure, Ondo State capital.
He relocated from Adebowale area of the state capital to Gbogi following some allegations which pitted him against some people in the locality.
He leased a warehouse, turned into a church and started his ministry afresh.
Within months, the church was a beehive of activities as miracle seekers invaded the place in large numbers and it became the talk of the town. At every service, the crowd spilled over to the Gbogi narrow road causing traffic gridlock.
Motorists make a detour any day the church had a programme as the narrow road automatically became impassable for them. The location of the church had been giving neighbours concern but mum was the word.
Today the prophet is dogged by allegations of fraud as no fewer than ten unemployed youths are accusing him of swindling them.
The youths lodged complaints at the Ondo State office of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC), claiming that the suspect promised to secure Immigration jobs for them for various fees.
The NSCDC accused the prophet of “involving in financial scam”.
The NSCDC Sector Commander in the state, Awili Pedro, told Sunday Vanguard that the clergyman was “arrested after allegations from some members of his church that he swindled them by promising to help them secure visa to travel the United States.
He also alleged that the pastor duped some unsuspecting unemployed youths in his church, by asking them to pay money ranging between N 400,000 and half a million naira to an account while promising them jobs.
The NSCDC commander said trouble started for the suspect when one of the alleged victims demanded for the refund of her money.
Pedro said Abiodun claimed ignorance of his involvement in any deal with the church member.
The suspect, according to him, introduced one Olamilekan Omole, an alleged accomplice, to the church and they allegedly connived to defraud the unsuspecting victims.
He added that the suspect allegedly defrauded another unsuspecting member of his church of N1.7m by deceiving her to procure passport and visa for her son since February this year.
Speaking with Sunday Vanguard, one of the alleged victims, Mrs. Folashade Olujimi, explained that she paid N1.7m for the procurement of the US visa for his son but the suspect and his agent failed to procure the visa.
Olujimi pointed out that the agent was on the run and had refused to pick his calls for the past two months and she had to hold the cleric responsible
“Our pastor said the agent was his Personal Assistant and that was why we paid the money we were charged”, she narrated.
“I started attending his church this year while he introduced his Personal Assistant as a travelling agent who can help to procure American visa and I approached them for my son’s visa.
“The pastor advised me not to pay until there was a directive from God. He called me in February to go on with the arrangement and I paid for the procurement of the visa by transferring the money into Olamilekan’s account twice, and they assured me the visa will be ready before the end of April
“After transferring the money to the Personal Assistant, he no longer picked my calls and he disappeared. Later, his number stopped ringing. I approached the pastor but said he knew nothing about it.
“He promised to get across to the agent but there was no news till now and I demanded for a refund while the pastor claimed to be unaware of what transpired between me and the agent.”
Another church member, Solomon Dauda, said the suspect defrauded him under the pretence that he would help him procure visa, saying his family had dragged him to court.
The suspect, Adeniyi, did not deny the allegations and expressed his readiness to refund the money he allegedly obtained under false pretence.
Adeniyi confirmed that he introduced the victim to his Personal Assistant who “regrettably bolted away”.
The suspect promised to pay back the money if released from the custody of the NSCDC.
“I have agreed to pay back the money. The money was paid into Omole’s account but I promise to pay back the money, they need to give me some time”
The NSCDC commandant, however, said the suspect would be handed over to the police for further investigation.
In another development, three suspected illegal bunkers were said to have been arrested by the command and 50 trucks of adulterated kerosene recovered from them in Agadagba in the riverine area of Ondo while making efforts to transport the commodity to neighbouring states
According to the commandant, others at large will soon be smoked out, arrested and charged to court.
Pedro vowed to rid the state of criminals following the directive from his Comptroller General who ordered zero tolerance for crime in all the states of the Federation.
Source : Vanguard