When you look at Pastor Monday, you see fire in his eyes; he is big, he is strong and when he speaks, it is like thunder and I kid you not, with more than 500 worshippers at his church every Sunday, you will have no doubt in your mind that indeed, this man is a man sent from God because only a man from God can command that sort of presence.
Pastor Monday is the founder and General Overseer of Evangelical Church of the Holy Ghost. He started the church more than five years ago and in those short years, his congregation just grew.
How did I meet this man?
Through his sister, who is a neighbor in my compound. I honestly was not looking for any miracle of deliverance or anything. At that time, I wasn’t where I wanted to be yet but I wasn’t doing badly either. I lived in a flat but I also had two plots of land around Mowe side. My kids go to good schools and my wife too is a banker like me but at another bank. So we were not poor, neither were we uneducated or foolish.
Anyway Lizzy, the sister of the prophet, introduced her brother to me one day when he came visiting. I met both of them at the gate as I was driving into the compound. She hailed me, telling me to come and meet her brother the Prophet. I swear, as soon as I shook the man’s hands, all my senses just disappeared!
I mean, I am normally a rational man, I believe so. You can then imagine, that I then invited the Prophet into my house even though he was already leaving. There was just something about him that I couldn’t piece together.
He came in, I called my wife, introduced them, we all sat down and drank and even ate food that evening. A total stranger to me!
Anyway, the following weeks, I found myself going to his church with my family. Though my wife protested but I am not even a regular church goer, we are Anglicans by birth but she was happy that I was going to a church regularly.
After service, the pastor would pray for us; my wife and I and he would lay hands on us that we will not suffer anymore but we will prosper. I took it to mean that we would go from our present level to a higher level. I thought maybe I would be promoted and become a GM or something because I have worked at several big banks, name the biggest banks in this country and I have worked there, you understand me?
So, I mean, he began to pray for us and see visions, some of which I will tell you somehow are true. Like for instance, he said he saw a vision of my mother in the village, that she suffered a stroke. My mother is in her 70s, a very agile woman who has a farm but two days after the vision, my poor mother suffered a stroke; we almost lost her if not for the warning the Prophet gave or so I thought at that time, maybe she would have died.
Then he began to tell me to transfer some money for prayers, you know, like to ward off danger over my family; sometimes it is N1.5 million, sometimes more. Usually, these things are not done with such fiat. There would be prayers, buying of special soaps to ward off bad luck, anointing oil and handkerchiefs for favour and promotion, things like that. Also, one time, he asked for money to be transferred for fasting so as to prevent me from being sacked at work; at that period, my bank was downsizing, last year and the year before, there was serious downsizing at most banks.
At my bank, they were laying off senior staff who have spent a number of years at the bank; lo and behold, they skipped me that time and laid off two of my colleagues.
So you see how it was easy for me to keep transferring money that ultimately accrued to a tune of N128 million in a period of two and a half years. It wasn’t done all at once, no. I even remember that sometimes, it was to pay for crusades or buy church equipment which I mostly never saw or for prophet to travel for evangelism.
I just didn’t know what came over me these past few years; I was just moving money, even money that was not my own. I was just moving into the prophet’s account until the bank caught me!
Yes, I was caught! It was discovered that i have transferred over N128 million to the prophet in the last two years.
Of course first there was an inquiry, I was found to have been defrauding my bank. I was subsequently fired, my landed properties seized and many of the bank’s properties on me were confiscated. I have lost virtually everything but my senses are restored.
Incidentally, for all of the visions that the prophet sees, he didn’t see that the money was not mine and that one day the bank will find me out or that one day, he would be arrested by EFCC and be in jail to answer for his crimes.
He didn’t see these coming at all and I had no warning.
I am glad that this fake prophet has been brought to book; I am not even the only one he has defrauded, another church member is also here, he was duped of N24 million! Yes, I am in detention for defrauding my bank, I am suffering for my foolishness; I am willing to take responsibility for my actions but false prophets like these must be hanged!
-Series compiled and edited by Peju Akande and based on true stories.