Nigeria: “EFCC Pursues Legal Action Against General Overseer for Alleged N1.3 Billion Fraud Scheme”

Nigeria: “EFCC Pursues Legal Action Against General Overseer for Alleged N1.3 Billion Fraud Scheme”

By Zuleihat Owuiye, Mamos Nigeria

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has announced its intention to arraign the General Overseer of Faith on the Rock Ministry International, Apostle Theophilus Ebonyi, following his arrest for allegedly defrauding church members and others, pending the completion of its investigation.

In a statement titled “EFCC Arrests Pastor for N1.3 Billion Fake Grants, Money Laundering,” posted on its official handle, @officialEFCC, the anti-graft agency detailed the pastor’s alleged use of fake grants from the Ford Foundation amounting to $1,319,040,274.31.

Contrary to Ebonyi’s claims in a Facebook Live video that he was not arrested, EFCC spokesperson Dele Oyewale clarified that Ebonyi had indeed been arrested in June 2023 and subsequently released on bail.

The EFCC’s statement revealed that Ebonyi allegedly defrauded victims, including non-governmental organizations and individuals, by promoting an intervention project through his NGO (Theobarth Global Foundation). He claimed the Ford Foundation was offering a $20,000,000 grant to assist the less privileged, urging subscribers to pay for registration forms and clusters, resulting in a total amount of N1,391,040,274.31.

Investigations by the EFCC reportedly found no connection between Ebonyi, his NGO, and the Ford Foundation. The foundation explicitly disclaimed any association with them. The Commission further uncovered five properties acquired by Ebonyi through his alleged criminal dealings.

The EFCC stated its commitment to charging Ebonyi in court once investigations are concluded. Uthman Salami, a Mass Communication graduate with over six years of journalism experience, reported on this development for Metro, covering crime, community-related news, and business with a focus on the capital market and the oil and gas sector.

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