A 32-year-old cleric, Pastor Abel Benard Aniude of Trimphant Kings Assembly, Enugu, has been nabbed by police detectives in Enugu for allegedly duping a 25-year-old lady, Ojiaku Chiamaka of N4 million.The pastor was said to have wooed Chiamaka on facebook in December 2013 and promised her marriage. Using preparations for the marriage as a bait, the clergy allegedly swindled the lady over N4 million.
He was arrested by police detectives at his No 42 Odudukoko street, Gariki Awkunanaw, Enugu State on April 13 following complaints filed by the victim.
The state Commissioner of Police, Mr. Mohammed Adamu, who confirmed the arrest, told Saturday Sun that the suspect and his younger brother, Tobias Aniude serving a jail term in Enugu prison, were notorious for using facebook to promise innocent women marriage and eventually dupe them.
The pastor’s younger brother, Tobias was said to have been arrested for kidnapping and armed robbery and later remanded in Enugu prison in March. In the prison, Tobias was alleged to have continued using facebook to scam more innocent Nigerians.
The victim, Chiamaka, who works as a sales girl with her brother, Emmanuel Monday Ojiaku at Mokola, Ibadan, Oyo State, was said to have diverted proceeds from sales in her brother’s shop to meet the demands of Pastor Aniude.
Giving details of what transpired between him and Chiamaka, Pastor Aniude told Saturday Sun:
“I am an Assistant Pastor with Triumphant Kings Assembly. I have been in ministry for five years now. I am jobless. I met Chiamaka on facebook in December, 2013. I promised to marry her. Then, she started sending money to my bank account in Enugu. I visited her at Ibadan twice and collected the sum of N1million from her.”
“I have to send my wife away with my two kids from my house to Aba. When I told my wife that I wanted to marry a second wife but she refused, that prompted me to send her packing. “I used part of the money Chiamaka was sending to buy a car and built a bungalow in my village at Nochele Ndeaboli in Aliri Local Government Area, Enugu State. “I deceived her that I wanted to marry her on Christmas day, December 25, 2014. I also lied to her that I had a motor accident. I rescheduled it for February 14, 2015. I lied to her again that armed robbers attacked me. I rescheduled it for Easter period, April 4, 2015 before the police anti-kidnappers squad arrested my wife, my Pastor Sam Ezenagu before I was arrested”.
Explaining how his younger brother, Tobias got involved in the scam, the suspect said:
“It was when I have duped her that I handed over her phone number to my younger brother, Tobias who is currently serving in Enugu prison yard. My younger brother called Chiamka and told her that the wedding invitation cards were ready but that I am not serious and he is ready to marry her and so she should send him money.”
In her own account of the scam, Chiamaka explained:
“I met Pastor Abel Bernard Aniude on facebook in December 2013 and we started chatting on facebook. Pastor Abel deceived me that he wanted to marry me. I worked in the shop of my brother, Emmauel Ojiaku who sells electronics in Ibadan. I started to send N700,000 and N300,000 to Pastor Abel through his UBA and Diamond account numbers”.
“In July 2014, Pastor Abel came to Ibadan and lodged in a hotel and after having sex with me, I gave him N300,000. Also on September, 2014, Pastor Abel came to Ibadan and lodged again in same hotel and after having sex me, I gave him N700,000. I don’t known how I ended up sending N4 million into his bank accounts.” “My family should forgive me. I was deceived. I have learnt my lesson in a hard way”, she said.
The victim’s brother, Emmanuel Ojiaku stated: “Chiamaka is my blood sister. She was in the villagein Nnewi, Anambra State where one guy impregnated her and later the guy denied the pregnancy, she delivered the baby and after sometimes, the baby died. I went to the village in Nnewi and brought her to Ibadan to stay with me so that she will not suffer”.
On how Chiamaka was able to have access to his money, Emmanuel said:
“I deal in electrical appliances in Ibadan. I took my sister, Chiamaka to be like a sales girl. Suddenly my wife took ill and had to take her to India for treatment.
“Chiamaka was in charge of my shop. I didn’t suspect her rather I handed over the shop to her. It was March 27, 2015 when Chiamaka came back from the shop and I discovered that she was having N1700, which led to searching of her room and I discovered N65,000 under her bed. I brought out cutlass and threatened her and collected her phone before she confessed to me that she has sent over N4 million to Pastor Abel.”
The General Overseer of Triumphant Kings Assembly, 47-year-old Pastor Sam Ezenagu where Pastor Abel works as Assistant Pastor told Saturday Sun:
“I was doing counselling in my church, four years ago when Pastor Abel walked in and told me that he wanted to assist me in my ministry. We started working together. Every Sunday service we always give him N3,000.
“Suddenly, Pastor Abel brought a Honda Sport car and we celebrated it and asked him where he got the car. Pastor Abel told me that it was one of those he prays for that gave him the car. The church rejoiced with him. Also, in some months, I will not see Pastor Abel and if I call him, he would tell me he was doing some business somewhere.”
Pastor Ezenagu added:
“It was April 12, 2015, Pastor Abel called me that policemen has arrested his wife. I ran to Aba. I asked whether there is any problem, I took a lawyer along with Pastor Abel and that was how he was arrested. Pastor Abel had to confess that he always dupe some ladies on facebook and how he got involved in the N4 million scam.
CP Adamu assured that Pastor Abel will soon be charged to court for trial.