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Pastors in N25m bank robbery Use money for Evangelism

Posted by LUKKEY ABAWURU on 2005/08/05 | Views: 304 |

Pastors in N25m bank robbery Use money for Evangelism


TWO Pastors, both ex-convicts who enjoyed presidential pardon in 2003, yesterday stunned members of their churches when they confessed their roles in robbing an Akure, Ondo State-branch of a new generation bank of N25 million.

TWO Pastors, both ex-convicts who enjoyed presidential pardon in 2003, yesterday stunned members of their churches when they confessed their roles in robbing an Akure, Ondo State-branch of a new generation bank of N25 million.

Some members of the church had followed the accused persons to Lagos to ascertain why they were arrested by the police.

In their confessional statements made before newsmen, Pastor Matthew Adeniyi of Prison Rehabilitation Ministry said he used his share of the stolen money to print tracts and leaflets to convert souls for God.

On his part, Pastor Benjamin Akeem Anjorin of Christ Apostolic Church said he used part of his loot to buy a bus for evangelism.

The pastors had prior to their conversion and call to the priesthood, spent 11 and nine years respectively in prison for armed robbery, before presidential reprieve came their way.

Pastor Adeniyi was initially serving life jail term while his colleague, Anjorin was serving a 25 year-jail term, both at the Kirikiri Maximum Prison, Lagos.

Confessing his crime, Pastor Adeniyi said "I want to serve God who made it possible for the President Olusegun Obasanjo to grant me pardon but I have no money to meet my obligation and I started looking for money to build my own church and put fine structures that would amaze people so as to publish books and sell to the people and print tracts to reach out to many people."

Also confessing, Pastor Anjorin said "I bought a bus for envagelism to reach out to more peoples and convert more souls. I did not know the way I was moving could turn out like this."

Describing how they planned and carried out the robbery operation, Adeniyi said "we did not pray before going for the operation because we knew we were doing something wrong. I was spiritually dead but because of my desire to make it again after spending 11 years in prison and wasting good part of my life, I reluctantly went into robbery. I did not carry gun but I played vital roles in executing the plan. I tied up the security man and cut the iron bars."

Parading the suspect and six others at Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (FSARS) Adeniji Adele Police annex, Lagos, Commissioner of Police (FSARS), Mr Emmanuel Ezeozue said this suspects planned the robbery at a revival crusade in Akure.

According to him, "following the attack and robbery of N25.9 million at a (name witheld) Bank, Akure branch on July 3, 2005, the Inspector-General of Police directed FSARS to take over investigation into the case and bring the culprits to book."

He added that the investigation team embarked on intelligence gathering which led to the arrest of one Iyabo Victoria Jelelowo in Akure, said to be a girl friend to the gang leader, also an evangelist.

"The investigation team moved to Ibadan to locate and arrest the perpetrators. Iyabo was interrogated and she confessed being privy to the robbery of the bank. She admitted securing N220,000 from the money. She identified five others who were also paraded."

Ezcozu said information revealed that gang leader, Akeem Anjorin, was allegedly hiding in the mission house of the World Soul Winning Evangelical Mission, (WOSEM) Ibukun Oluwa Challenge, Ibadan.

"He was arrested there. He received N4 million as his own share," he added

However, Daily Champion learnt that the pastors became "born again" in prison while serving their jail terms They blamed the devil for their predicament, assuring that they will never go back if let off the hook.

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Fay(Katy, Texas, US)says...

Actually translates to bravehearted.