A Bishop who has been defrauding people in God’s name, has been arrested by the operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.
The suspect identified as Giniko Obi, who is said to be the founder of Beloved Gideon Foundation, based in Agbor, Delta State, with outreaches in Bayelsa, Onitsha, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja and Benin City, was arrested for allegedly defrauding thousands of people of various sums of money running into millions of naira, in the guise of helping them “fight poverty”.
Giniko Obi who denied any involvement in fraud claiming that he was only “doing the will of God by trying to help the people fight poverty”, said it was his desire and God’s will to see people prosper that led him into operating what appears to be a Ponzi Scheme.
The arrested Bishop who has been defrauding people in God’s name, claimed to have a diploma in theology and also consecrated. The suspect who claimed he left Agbor for Lagos to expand his subscription base but had impatient subscribers, said;
“We write books such as ‘24 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘36 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘48 Nuggets for Successful Living’. We organise seminars and conferences on how to be successful. We tell the people to subscribe to these publications. If you subscribe with N10, 800, we give you N15, 000. If you subscribe with N18, 000, we give you N23, 000. I had about 30,000 subscribers and I was paying them.
“If they allowed me to hold the conference in Lagos, I would have paid them,” he claimed.
One of the victims of the fraud, Janet Amaka Okafor, said the Bishop claimed he was from the famous Gideons International, based in the United States.
“He organised seminars in Agbor market that he was from Gideons International and that their mission was to help eradicate poverty in Nigeria. He told us that unlike in the past when Gideons International distributed Bibles and Christian literatures, their mission now was to eradicate poverty.
“The Bishop knelt down and swore with the Bible. He convinced us that he was from Texas, USA and we believed him. I subscribed with N10, 800 and he paid me N15, 000. It was after this that he engaged over 60 of us as canvassers. I brought many people including my relations and friends. All together, they invested over N5 million”.
Another victim, Bessie Nwadibire, 67, said the Bishop was very deceptive from the beginning.
“When he came to the market he gave out drinks and dashed some people money as much as N50, 000 as he said the poverty rate in Nigeria was too high,” Nwadibire said, praying and hoping that the Bishop will be made to refund her money.
Expressing gratitude that the EFCC has arrested the Bishop, she said, “Before he was arrested, we went into hiding, because all the people who invested their money into the business through me have threatened to kill me unless I refund their money. The money is over N8, 000, 000 (Eight Million Naira) only”.
According to the EFCC, the suspect will soon be arraigned in court.