A Gambian pastor named Owen Abraham who is currently based in Nigeria has allegedly disappeared in Ibadan with 52 phones, money, and other items belonging to worshipers who had attended a crusade.
The religious leader, who claimed to have been guided by God to go from the Gambia to Ibadan, Oyo State, organized the crusade in Aponrin in the Agbowo neighbourhood.
Abraham allegedly tricked the victims into three days of fasting and prayer, but on the final day of the crusade, he vanished after all attempts to contact him were unsuccessful.
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According to the Nigerian News Agency, the pastor stated that the Holy Spirit told him to instruct everyone in attendance to turn in their phones, money, and other valuables on the last day of the crusade.
However, he was said to have left with those things.
Mrs Grace Akintola, a widow, claimed that many widows joined the crusade because Abraham promised to provide each of them with a bag of rice, some cash, and scholarships.
The pastor approached an Igbo lady in our area to assist him to gather widows and students, saying he wanted to help us. Someone in my area invited me for the crusade. He wore pastor regalia.
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He said he will buy a house for one of us and that the house will be fully furnished. He promised some people that attended the crusade money. Even politicians cannot give out such amounts as he promised. On the last day of the crusade, he sold a bottle of water for us at the rate of N4,800. He said perfume is inside the bottled water. Many people paid for the water.”
Another victim, a student of the University of Ibadan (UI) added;
“The evangelist collected their phones so as to keep it away from them and focus on the prayers. Unknowingly, it was a trick to get our belongings. He said no phone should ring, that was why he collected all the phones.
In fact, a lady stood up and wanted to take his photographs but he seized the phone from her. On the last day of the crusade, he said he wanted to go and rest at the hotel where he lodged. He later said he wanted to go and eat at UI; we don’t know how he escaped with our belongings.
As a man of God, we respected him a lot, we didn’t know that he wanted to use the name of God to dupe us.”
Pastor Abraham’s name and image have been on posters that have been plastered and distributed across Aponrin, prompting villagers to declare him to be wanted.
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