There was confusion in Aponrin, in Agbowo area of Ibadan, Ibadan North Local Government Area of Oyo State on Tuesday, after a pastor, Dr. Owen Abraham, allegedly absconded with 52 Android and iPhones, money, and valuables of residents.
It waa learnt that the victims were those who came for a five-day crusade organised by the pastor.
According to some of the victims, the pastor said he was led by God to come to Ibadan from Gambia for the crusade.
Abraham, on the last day of the five-day crusade claimed Holy Spirit directed him to tell the people to submit their phones and valuables, before absconding with them.
The victims said Abraham, who lured them into three days fasting and prayer, was no where to be found on the last day of the crusade as all effort to reach him proved abortive.
A victim, Mrs Grace Akintola, said many widows went for the crusade because the pastor promised to give each person a bag of rice and money, adding that Abraham also promised to empower students and give them scholarship.
While recounting her ordeal, Mrs Akintola who is also a widow, said: “The pastor approached an Igbo lady in our area to assist him to gather widows and students, saying he wants to help us
“Someone in my area invited me for the crusade; the crusader wears pastor’s regalia. He said he will buy a house for one of us, he said the house is fully furnished.
“He promised some people who attended the crusade money; even politicians cannot give out such money he promised.
“On the last day of the crusade, he sold bottled 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 University of Ibadan (UI), who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the pastor ordered them to fast for three days, adding that he collected their phones so that they can focus on the prayers. But unknowingly to them, it was a ploy to steal their belongings.
“He said no phone should ring, that was why he collected all the phones. In fact, a lady stood up and wanted to snap him, 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 didn’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,” the student said.
Meanwhile, Abraham has been declared wanted by residents of the community after reporting the case at Bodija police station.
Poster bearing his name and picture has been circulated within the community to track him down.