Breaking News
Translate

Stealing in the name of the lord: ‘Sanctuary’ leader in fraud mess

•Says  police is lawless for arresting him

By Albert Akpor

COMPARED to the cross on which Jesus Christ was crucified at Golgotha, Mr. Patrick Sunday Onyiuku’s cross which ironically symbolized the presence of God at his ‘sanctuary’ located on Salawu Street, off Ojuelegba Road Surulere, Lagos, is convincingly longer and much more awesome.

With the cross conspicuously staring at gullible callers to his ‘Sanctuary’,  the 40 -year- old Anambra state born father of two does not necessarily need to do much to convince his preys that their problems are over!  He even goes on to put up advertisements in some newspapers to showcase his numerous ‘products’ ranging from the ability to cure impotency, miscarriages in women, good luck in business, pools,  do as I say ring, success in marriages, premature ejaculation and so on.

And of course, he charges fees ranging from N40, 000 to N200,000, depending on the nature of the ‘product’ and status of the buyer.  He has been in this business of ‘healing and helping people’,  using the name of God since 2005 until he recently ran into troubled waters with one of his customers following which he was rounded up by detectives from the Force CID Alagbon Lagos.

Pastor Onyiuku

But at the open ground of the dreaded and infamous Federal Anti-Robbery Squad (Fed SARS) Adeniji Adele, Lagos, Onyiuku accused the police of undermining a court ruling on the case, stressing that his arrest was an abuse of justice, clearly aimed at denting his image and bringing his business to an abrupt end.   He maintained that his arrest and parade were unwarranted, saying he had settled out of court with his complainant.

Beginning of the end
Narrating the circumstances that led to his arrest and subsequent parade,  Onyiuku said, “ Sometimes in 2008, a man called me on my cell phone and introduced himself as Alhaji Ibrahim Shettima from Adamawa state, saying that he read about my advert on the pages of a newspaper and that he would want to come to my sanctuary for a spiritual help.  I asked him what was the nature of his illness. He answered that it was not illness per se; that he is a business man and is into supplies.  He further said that he supplied goods to some people and that they have refused to pay him.

He asked if I could do something for him so that his debtor could pay him his money so that he could in turn pay those he collected the goods from. I asked him to come so that we could report those his debtors to God.  When he came, I charged him N160,000.00 which he paid on the spot and I did the job for him.   But after about five months, he called me to say that what I did for him did not work as expected.  He said those owing him were five in numbers and that two people had paid, remaining three.  I told that I really tried on that his job that it was not my fault.

Two months later, he came down to my office with some policemen from ‘Area C’ and arrested me.  At the police station, I was asked how much I collected from him and I told them the truth,  and the police asked me to refund him his money but I said I could not because I had done a job for him, whether it worked well or not, it did not concern me.  The police even persuaded me to pay him half of the amount he paid which I obliged, but the man said instead of  collecting half,  they should charge the matter to court.

And the matter was actually charged to court 2 on Bode Thomas street.   The matter had been on since 2008 until late last year when he called that he was no longer interested in court case and that I should pay him N100,000 so that we could settle out of court.  I told him that I did not have such money.  Later, he said alright,  since two out of the five debtors had paid him, I should pay half the money and I said I could pay him N75, 000, which he accepted.

My lawyer even consented to that and I paid him N75,000 at the court premises and we both signed an agreement, attaching our passport photographs to the documents which were later tendered in court to the extent that he had settled out of court.  But it appeared that he may have written a petition to Fed SARS before our out of court settlement.  So one morning, I saw some plain clothed policemen in my office who said I was wanted in their station.  I asked what the matter was but they said I would know at the station.  They carried all the instruments including the cross which  we use in the office straight to Alagbon close.  I have been there for two weeks before they now brought me out to be paraded along side armed robbers.  My lawyer even showed the police at Alagbon documents we signed to testify that we had settled out of court but they did not want to  listen.  The police even called the petitioner, but he told them that they should leave him alone that he had settled with me out of court.  As I talk to you now, my lawyer does not know that am here being paraded.

Police have no respect for the law
Apparently angry that he is paraded, Onyiuku charged, “ Am I not a Nigerian? Why should I be so humiliated for nothing?  Na my own jeje I dey when the man come to say make I help am.  I charge am the amount and him pay me; no be say I force am!  Did I go to rob? Even when the complainant told the police that he was no longer interested in the matter on the ground that we had settled out of court, they still went ahead, arrested and paraded me.  Is this not injustice?  Why should the Police not respect the law?”


Disclaimer

Comments expressed here do not reflect the opinions of vanguard newspapers or any employee thereof.