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Pastor Defrauds Congregants of $930k

Ebonyi deceived his victims by soliciting a payment of $1,300 from each individual to gain access to a $20 billion grant offered by the Ford Foundation.

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Pastor Defrauds Congregants of $930k

Popular Nigerian pastor, Theo O Ebonyi, was arrested for scamming his followers and others out of over 1.3 billion naira (approximately US$930,000; £740,000).

Although he was detained and released on bail last year, the information regarding his arrest was recently made public by the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).

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The EFCC claims that Ebonyi, who is popular in Benue state, deceived his victims by soliciting a payment of $1,300 from each individual to gain access to a $20 billion grant purportedly offered by the US-based Ford Foundation.

However, the EFCC has confirmed that no such grant exists.

Investigations by the EFCC showed that the Ford Foundation had no arrangement, grant, relationship or business with Ebonyi. The foundation pointedly disclaimed him and his NGO stressing that it had no link whatsoever with them.”

Additionally, the EFCC alleges that Mr Ebonyi, who leads the Faith on the Rock Ministry International church, used the fraudulently obtained funds to purchase five properties.

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Once the investigations are concluded, he is expected to face charges in court, although the specific charges have yet to be determined.

Pastor Defrauds Congregants of $930k

Also read: Congregants Shocked as Pastor Turns to OnlyFans

In response to his arrest, Mr Ebonyi released a video statement on Facebook during the same period when the EFCC announced his arrest on X (formerly Twitter).

In the video, he dismissed the reports of his detention as “fake news” propagated by “bloggers… trying to use my body to make money… that is a very big fake news… it’s not true”.

Contrary to Mr Ebonyi’s claims, EFCC spokesperson Dele Oyewale clarified to Punch newspaper that Theo O Ebonyi had been arrested and subsequently released on bail last year.

The spokesperson explained that no official statements were issued at the time due to the ongoing nature of the investigations.

He had been arrested over a long period of time, but because of the investigation that we were doing, we did not issue any statements.”


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