Residents of Aponrin in Agbowo area of Ibadan are now on the trail of a pastor who allegedly absconded with 52 android and iPhones, money and other valuables after a three-day crusade.
The pastor said he was ordered by God to travel from Gambia to Ibadan, Oyo state capital, for the purpose of the crusade. He reportedly asked the worshippers to pay N4,800 for a bottle of water mixed with perfume.
The incident was said to have occurred in Aponrin, Agbowo area of Ibadan.
NAN reports that the pastor asked the worshippers to drop their phones, money and other valuable items during the service..
He was, however, said to have absconded with those items.
The victims said that the pastor, who lured them into three days of fasting and prayer, went missing on the last day of the crusade.
A victim, Mrs Grace Akintola, said that many widows had gone to the crusade because the pastor promised to give each of them a bag of rice and money.
Akintola, who is a widow, said that the ‘man of God’ also promised to empower students who attended the crusade with scholarship awards.
“The pastor approached an Igbo lady in our area to assist him to gather widows and students and that he wanted to help us.
“Someone in my area invited me for the crusade. The crusader put on priest’s regalia. He even said he would buy a fully-furnished house for one of us.
“The pastor equally promised some of those who attended the crusade money, the kind of money that even politicians could not give.
“He said no phone should ring during the programme and that was why he collected all of them.
“In fact, he snapped at a lady who stood up and wanted to take his photograph and seized the phone from her,” he said..
He further stated that on the last day of the crusade, the pastor said he wanted to go and rest at the hotel where he had lodged.
“He (pastor) later said he wanted to go and eat inside the University of Ibadan after which we didn’t know how he escaped with our belongings.
“As a man of God that he claimed to be, we respected him a lot. We didn’t know that he wanted to use the name of God to dupe us,” he said.
Meanwhile, the pastor has been declared wanted by residents of the area, as posters bearing his name and pictures have been circulated within the area to track him.