The Benin Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has arrested one Bishop Giniko Obi of Beloved Gideon Foundation for allegedly defrauding people of millions of Naira in the name of God.
News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the Bishop, who claimed to be helping people fight poverty instead, duped them of the said amount.
When his opinion on the allegation was sought, Obi, who claimed to be a consecrated Bishop with a Diploma in Theology, denied committing the crime, insisting that he was “doing the will of God by trying to help the people fight poverty”.
He added, “We write books such as ‘24 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘36 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘48 Nuggets for Successful Living’. We organize seminars and conferences on how to be successful. We tell the people to subscribe to these publications. If you subscribe with N10,800, we give you N15,000. If you subscribe with N18,000, we give you N23,000. I had about 30,000 subscribers and I was paying them.”
Obi, who operated the Ponzi scheme, said when he left Agbor for Lagos, he had plans to expand his subscription base but noticed his clients when running impatient, saying, “If they allowed me to hold the conference in Lagos, I would have paid them.”
Reacting, some of his victims who flooded the EFCC office described the Bishop as a “fraud” as he claimed he was from Gideons International, a famous Christian association in the United States.
One of the victims, Janet Okafor said, “The Bishop knelt down and swore with the Bible. He convinced us that he was from Texas, USA and we believed him. I subscribed with N10,800 and he paid me N15,000. It was after this that he engaged over 60 of us as canvassers. I brought many people including my relations and friends. All together, they invested over N5 million,” she narrated.
Another victim, Bessie Nwadibire, giving her account, said “When he came to the market he gave out drinks and dashed some people money as much as N50,000 as he said the poverty rate in Nigeria was too high.
“Before he was arrested, we went into hiding, because all the people who invested their money into the business through me have threatened to kill me unless I refund their money. The money is over N8, 000, 000 only.” Nwadibire said.
An EFCC statement revealed that the suspect will be arraigned in court soon.