A young man, One Osazuwa Okungbowa, has narrated to an Ikeja High Court sitting in Lagos state how a Port Harcourt-based pastor, Gobari Maxwell, of the Believers’ Love World Ministry, aka Christ Embassy duped him to the tune of N4.5 million.
According to Okungbowa, the pastor deceived him into believing that he would help him get two plots of land near the Port Harcourt Polytechnic, Bori Camp. The pastor was said to have received N4.5 million from him through his wife’s First Bank account in a bid to buy the two plots of land.
New Telegraph reports that the accused was later arrested in Port Harcourt and brought to Lagos for proper investigation.
A detective, Shedrach Ternenge Iyo, attached to the Cyber- Crime Section of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, reading the charge sheet before the court, said:
“Maxwell allegedly committed the offence on June 12, 2012 at Ikeja Judicial Division by dishonestly converting the said sum to his personal use. During investigation, the agency sent a letter to the two banks which were used for the transaction; a First Bank account belonging to the complainant’s wife and a Diamond Bank account belonging to the pastor, requesting for account statements.
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“When we received the banks’ response, we analysed both accounts and discovered that the sum transferred for the land purchase was N3.8 million while N700,000 was transferred as a loan to the pastor.
“Okungbowa made the land payments in seven instalments through his wife’s bank account from June 24 to May 31, 2012 in the variations of N300, 000 and N500, 000 consecutively.
“After volunteering a statement and being read a caution, the pastor confessed to have received the money but claimed he used it to settle his elder brother’s hospital bills, who was brought back to Nigeria from the United States of America (USA) for treatment.
“The accused is facing a one-count charge of stealing contrary to Section 258(a)(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No. 11, 2011. The pastor told the commission that there is no land and he didn’t have any specific land to buy for him, beside the area he had promised to purchase for him was already having community fights.”
In her ruling, Justice Jose adjourned the matter till April 13 and 14 for trial.