A self-styled prophet, Alphonsus Ezie, 56, of the Celestial Church of Christ, Igando District, Lagos State, southwest Nigeria, has been remanded in prison over an alleged false prophecy he made to his church members. The prophet allegedly told his church members that he had a vision that they would travel abroad.
According to the victims, this turned out to be a ploy for them to obtain travel documents from the prophet’s friend called Kayode Samuel, 45. But the prophecy did not come to pass. The victims then reported the matter to the police who arrested Ezie and charged him before Ejigbo Magistrate’s Court sitting in Lagos with fraud.
Ezie landed in trouble when he allegedly prophesied to members of the church during a service that he saw many of them travelling abroad for greener pastures and that would come back home successfully.
He reportedly told them that God had opened their way to Netherlands and asked them to go and obtain international passport and a visas for the trip from his accomplice, Samuel.
It was learnt that more than 16 excited members believed the prophecy and went to meet Samuel in a popular hotel at Egbeda area of Lagos to pay for their travel documents, believing that God had answered their prayers.
Among those who paid for the documents include Julius Adefisoye, N217,000; Mathew Oyedele, N125,000; Kinsley John, N120,000; James Obiakpo, N240,000, who paid for himself and fiancee; Adewumi Osisoya N70,000; Akimbami Kunle, N50,000 and Lekan Ogundepo, N50,000.
The affected members later realized that they had been conned when they waited for many months and there were no signs they were going to travel abroad in fulfillment of Ezie’s prophecy. It was reported that when the victims confronted Ezie, they were told that Samuel had fled with their money.
The members became angry and handed the prophet over to the police at Igando Division for deceiving them. The police later arrested Samuel and the two suspects were charged to court with obtaining and stealing money under false pretence.
Ezie confirmed the incident but blamed Samuel for the alleged scam.
The prophet insisted that Samuel betrayed him, blaming him for the prophecy not coming to pass.
Ezie said he had been trying to settle the matter with the victims before they involved the police and charged him to court.
When the suspects were arraigned in court, they pleaded not guilty.
The presiding magistrate, Mr P.E. Nwaka, granted them bail in the sum of N100,000 with two sureties in like sum.They were remanded in prison custody pending when they will fulfill their bail conditions.