A Gambian pastor, Owen Abraham, has been accused of disappearing with 52 phones, money, and other valuables belonging to worshippers who attended a crusade he organized in Ibadan, Nigeria.
According to reports, Abraham claimed to have been led by God to come to the town from Gambia and lured the attendees into three days of fasting and prayer.
However, he absconded on the last day of the crusade, and all efforts to reach him proved abortive.
The victims claimed that on the last day of the crusade, the pastor instructed them, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, to submit their phones, money, and other valuables.
But to their dismay, the pastor made away with the items, leaving them stranded.
Mrs. Grace Akintola, a widow, explained that many widows went for the crusade because Abraham made a pledge to distribute a bag of rice and money to each of them and also promised to empower students with scholarships.
The pastor’s actions have left the victims in a state of shock and disbelief, as they had hoped to receive blessings at the crusade.
She said: “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. 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 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 bottle water. Many people paid for the water.”
Another victim, a student of the University of Ibadan (UI) added that 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.”