Ebonyi State governor, Chief David Umahi, has revealed how he ordered for the arrest of fake pastors who nearly duped him of over $125 million US dollars (approx N45.3bn.
Umahi made this known while addressing stakeholders and the members of the Christian Association of Nigeria, CAN, Ebonyi State chapter during a homage at his country home at Uburu community, Ohaozara LGA, of Ebonyi State.
According to him, “My mother thought me and my brothers how to honour men of God. Those who are men of God that are not real should be avoided. They are taking curse upon themselves because their own judgement will be greater.
“Something played out today. Some group of people in the past two months said they have $125 million U.S dollars to give us. I told my Commissioner for Finance that it doesn’t sound real. I know immediately that it was a scam but my commissioner for finance continued pushing innocently.
“Because of his belief that it is real, I told him to go ahead. They made us to know that they are investors and that they have money to give to us for free of charge. They said we should bring $125 million US dollars. And out of the money, they will only take $25 million dollars to develop our place while the remaining $100million US dollars will be our own.
“I said what is my own. They can even take 50% if they want and give us even 1million dollars, since it is a grants. I told them that, if this money is a flush money, Ebonyi State Government will not be held responsible. The journey began. They said that we should show evidence of $10 million dollars in our account.
“I ask them why do you want us to have money in that account? I now directed UBA to credit 3.6 billion but we are not touching or making use of it. Just show evidence. And so, UBA did and sent to them. Now, in the last one week, we supposed to have the money credited to our account but the acclaimed investors failed. I laughed.
“They wrote to us three days ago that the money will not be released to us unless we sign a sovereign grantee. You know, sovereign grantee can only be signed by the President. They said in the alternative, we should bring a letter of credit. I said why should they demand for letter of credit when there is no exchange of goods?
“Then, I demanded to meet with these people. I now told my commissioner for finance to invite them to come. They demanded for tickets and logistics money. I told them to come, I’m a governor and I will pay for everything. They all came and I lodged them at the Osborne Hotel.
“I invited the Director of DSS, though I didn’t tell them but what shocked me was that most of them hailed from Igbo land. The link man is from Afikpo our own Ebonyi State. We began to talk. I asked them why do they need a letter of credit?
“Are we expecting goods from you? They said no. They stated going up and down. I asked them, why don’t you people give us chance, you think that Ebonyi State is a fool and that we are gullible.
“I gave them two options, as an Igbo man, I want us to resolve this matter as brothers. I asked them to confess that they want to scam us. On the alternative, I will take the matter up. This is because, if this is allowed, some one may die of heart attack.
“They are looking for our money but they will not get it because we are in a debit alert.
“It is God, that led them to come, so that I can stop the virus. And so, about five of them when we began to probe further, I discovered that their leader was a pastor in one popular church in Abuja. I seized their phones and other things. I directed DSS to arrest them and never to release them,” he stated.