A Minister with the Redeemed Church of God (RCCG) has been arrested for defrauding N11 million from his parish in Port Harcourt through forged letterheads and signature of the church’s accountant.
The suspect, Ameh Cyril Idakwoji, who is currently under the custody of the Economic Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), defrauded his church by diverting cheques and cash meant for the church. Meanwhile, the commission has recovered the said fund and returned same to the church.
Speaking while handing over the cheque to the RCCG provincial pastor in the South South Zonal headquarters, Port Harcourt, Mark Barango, the EFCC Zonal Head, South South, Mr. Isahq Salihu, disclosed that the suspect was the same man who defrauded N36 million from Jephtha International School in Port Harcourt last month. The money has since been recovered and returned to the school by the EFCC.
The EFCC zonal boss said: “Idakwoji doubled as the account officer of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Region 5, Province 4, Port Harcourt and Jephtha International School. He was covering up by giving fake statements of accounts to both the church and the school. To execute his criminal schemes in RCCG, he forged the letterheads of the church’s Region 5 and signatures of the pastor-in-charge of the region.
“He also forged the signature of the church’s accountant and attached same to August 2017 salary to the tune of N 7 million. The church denied giving instruction for payment of the salary to the school.
Salihu noted that the suspect also employed the services of a printer, who is a member of the church, one Adebayo Aderemi, to forge and print the letterhead and paid him N400,000 for the criminal business.
Speaking after receiving the fund, Pastor Barango commended the commission for the great work and its ability to recover the money. He regretted the act by the church member, stating that the Bible recorded that at the last days, there will be various kinds of people in the church.
Meanwhile, it was gathered that the suspect was building a three units of three-bedroom flat with the stolen fund in Port Harcourt, which the EFCC have sealed.