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Pastor dupes Okupe, bank MD, others of N2 billion

•London police, SFU launch manhunt
A pastor, who was accused of duping prominent Nigerians of over N2 billion, escaped from police custody in Lagos at the weekend.

Pastor Wale Adebajo, who heads the tabernacle arm of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Jesus House Parish, in Brent Cross, North-West London, was arrested and detained at the Special Fraud Unit (SFU), Ikoyi, Lagos, following complaints by some property scam victims, including governors, the Managing Director of a first generation bank, regional manager of the bank, and former presidential spokesman, Dr. Doyin Okupe.

Detectives at the SFU told the Nigerian Compass yesterday that the suspect escaped from police custody, when he was taken to the hospital for treatment, after he complained that he was sick.
According to the case details at the SFU, the bank MD was fleeced of N1 billion; the regional manager was duped of over N300 million; Okupe lost N100 million and one of the governors lost over N400 million to the scam, among others.
The monies were allegedly sent to Adebajo, who they claimed was offering non-existing property for sale.

“There could be more,” said the Commissioner of Police at the SFU, Mr. Moses Saba-Ndagi. “We’re still investigating. We’ve just returned from the bank now. Some of the transactions were genuine and some appear to be fraudulent. More people are coming forward with complaints and we’re looking at them.

“Already, we found that the suspect has four passports; two British passports and two Nigerian passports. We also found on his laptop, scanned emblem and stamp of the British High Commission.”
Saba-Ndagi told the Nigerian Compass, shortly before the suspect escaped from police custody on Friday night that a delegation from the British High Commission visited the SFU on that day, in connection with the case.

Further investigations by the Nigerian Compass revealed that the police in the United Kingdom (UK) have been alerted, as well as the office of Fair Trading, the Financial Services Authority, and the Serious Fraud Office.
In UK, Adebajo could face up to 10 years, if he is found guilty of the alleged fraudulent practices.

The victims saw Adebajo as a property mogul and a good deal maker, after they got reports that he had helped some prominent people to buy property in UK.
But problem started, when the bank manager, a woman, paid a surprise visit to UK and asked Adebajo to show her the properties which she had paid for.

When the pastor failed to do that, the woman picked up a fight and petitions began to fly in every direction.
In Okupe’s case, two earlier transactions had been successful, before he lost the N100 million, which he told the police was his children’s school fees channelled through Adebajo.
In most of the cases, as the police found out, there is no paperwork about the transactions. The bank manager only has bank tellers to prove that she sent money to the Pentecostal pastor.

When he was arrested, detectives at SFU took a mug shot of Adebajo, who they vowed to declare wanted today.
In a telephone conversation with the Nigerian Compass, Okupe said: “I don’t want to talk about Wale Adebajo. It’s a bad case... If you owe people money and you have certain things with which you can pay, why don’t you sell those things and pay? He accepted he owed them, but he didn’t want to part with what he has to offset those debts.”

One of the victims, who simply identified herself as Princess Deun, also spoke with the Nigerian Compass on phone.
She said: “I attend Pastor Adebajo’s church in Croydon, UK. I lost £20,000 to the scam and a friend of mine lost £40,000. We trusted him. That was why we lost the money.

“When he was in police custody, we had an arrangement that he should sell some of his belongings and use the money to clear the debts. The next thing we heard is that he has escaped from the police station. We have even sent a petition to the Inspector-General of Police.”
Police authorities at SFU told the Nigerian Compass yesterday that the officer who allowed Adebajo to escape has been detained, and detectives have been sent out to find the fleeing suspect at all cost.

thers of N2 billion

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Comment by madaki on August 26, 2010 at 12:52am
Friends country men lend me your ears! what about the top people who gave him the money to buy the property here in the UK! Whats their pay monthly??? and for the pastor or what ever they call themselves, they know what they are doing and thats why i dont go to a black man church they now turn Christianity to become a business.
Comment by Terry on August 25, 2010 at 1:09pm
If na o-level creminal na him dead body we go see say he was tryin 2 run, nw na big man wen thief plenty money he run 4 sick bed.. 9ja police we hail oh.
All dis people wen dey give christianity bad name, God go expose all of una one afta anoda

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