By Adibe Emenyonu in Benin City
A popular Pastor reputed for miracles in one pentecostal church in Benin City, Edo State, is in trouble over allegation of faking miracles to defraud unsuspecting church members.
An aggrieved member of the gang allegedly stage managing the miracles for the church reported himself and the church to the police in state capital.
Operatives of the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID), Police Command headquarters, Benin City, have swiftly launched investigation into the case.
Dependable sources at the state police command headquarters revealed that the Founder and General Overseer of the ministry (name withheld) has been invited and quizzed.
He was said to have alleged that the self-acclaimed evangelist owed him N48,000.00 being his agreed fee for sitting in a wheelchair as a cripple for six days before he received his ‘healing’ during the church deliverance programme recently.
It was further gathered that the man, who now serves as a complainant and suspect also alleged that the evangelist bought him a ram for thanksgiving in the church.
He added that the preacher collected from him a suit he presented to him as the church gift, in front of the congregation, shortly after he gave his false testimony.
When our reporter approached the complainant at the police command headquarters in Benin City, he stated that he wanted to use the money to pay for his medications.
“It was N8,000.00 per day, the programme was six days, he collected the suit from me and gave it to another person, ”the complainant said.
He was however prevented from giving further details by a police officer who said “the matter is still under investigation.”
A visits to the church on The Limit Road, Off Sapele Road, Benin City, revealed that there was a large congregation of worshippers, most of whom appeared hypnotised and desperate for miracles.
Some members in their various reactions with our reporter maintained that “since God used our daddy (the General Overseer) to deliver a woman who carried a horse in her womb for several years, deliverance has not ceased here. Just sow a seed in the church and watch out for your miracle.”
Others however stated that the membership of the ministry has considerably reduced as some members left the church when they felt swindle or did not receive their miracle.
Penultimate Sunday, the evangelist told the congregation “run to the altar with your tithe, it will turn to alligator pepper in your pockets if you go home with it,” during second service when our reporter visited.
Old and young people in the church quickly rushed to meet the embattled evangelist on the altar in response to his command.
Photographs taken by our reporter inside the church was asked to be deleted by officials of the church led by the protocol officer who said photos were strictly prohibited in the church.
Several attempts to obtain comments from the founder and General Overseer of the deliverance ministry failed as a lady who claimed to be the Public Relations Officer for the church said “journalists always work with rumours.”
Contacted, the Public Relations Officer, Edo State Police Command, SP Osifo Abiodun stated that “the case has been transferred.”