A herbalist identified as Ismaila Abdullahi, and a prophetess, Bola Ojo have been arrested by the Lagos state police command for allegedly swindling two bank workers of the sum of N6m in the Egbeda area of the state.
The suspects were arrested by operatives of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad after the victims wrote a petition to the Commissioner of Police, Kayode Aderanti.
It was learnt by the Punch that the bank workers, whose names were not disclosed, had met one Ajibola, who happened to be an informant for the suspects. Ajibola, who is now at large, had posed as an aide of a renowned politician and reportedly introduced a deal to them.
The deal was said to be worth about N5.8m, and Ajibola asked his victims to bring the money to a location with a promise that they would get fat rewards after the deal.
The unsuspecting victims withdrew the money and headed for Samson Street, Oke Odo, Iyana Ipaja, where Ajibola had an office.
While they were there, they were reportedly hypnotized by the herbalist and prophetess, who allegedly gave them a soap and sponge to bath and collected the cash from them and fled thereafter.
However, the suspects have said the bank workers brought the money to them because they wanted to perform ‘money rituals,’ without being coerced.
According to 47-year-old Abdullahi, one of the bankers, a woman, wanted to perform money ritual and also get pregnant, so she came to his house at Egbeda for prayers. He added that the money was to purchase the materials for the ritual.
“So, she brought the money, which I graciously collected. I told her that I was going to buy the materials for the concoction which would make her pregnant and wealthy. That is the truth. I am married with four children. I was arrested in the Ilogbo area of Ogun State,” he said.
Also speaking, Ojo, who is the prophetess of a Cherubim and Seraphim church in the Iyana Ipaja area, said her role in the deal was to convince the bankers to pay the money.
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“I am a prophetess of the C&S. I live in the Iyana Ipaja area. I have three children. What happened was that Abdullahi asked me to pray for the bankers. And after the prayers, he gave me N200, 000. He is just a friend, he is not a lover,” she said.
Confirming the incident, the Lagos state public relations officer, DSP Kenneth Nwosu said the suspects have confessed to the crime and efforts are on to arrest the third member of the syndicate.
A number of people have been defrauded by religious leaders at different times. About two weeks back, a popular pastor in Lagos, Timothy Gabriel reportedly bolted with one of his church member’s N10million.
Also, a 32-year-old pastor, Abel Benard Aniude of Trimphant Kings Assembly, Enugu, was arrested after he allegedly duped a 25-year-old woman, Ojiaku Chiamaka of N4 million.