The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has taken custody of Theophilus Ebonyi, the General Overseer of Faith On The Rock Ministry International, following allegations of defrauding church members and other individuals in a scheme involving fake grants from the Ford Foundation amounting to N1.3 billion.
EFCC spokesperson Dele Oyewale released a statement on Monday in Abuja, outlining the charges against the pastor.
According to the statement, Ebonyi stands accused of orchestrating a fraudulent intervention project through his non-governmental organization, Theobarth Global Foundation. He allegedly propagated false information about the Ford Foundation offering a grant of $20 billion to assist the less privileged in society.
The modus operandi involved persuading victims, which included non-governmental organizations and individuals, to subscribe as beneficiaries of the purported grant. Ebonyi allegedly coerced them into paying for registration forms and clusters with each subscriber parting with N1,800,000.
Through this deceptive arrangement, he is said to have amassed a total of N1,391,040,274.31.
The EFCC’s investigations revealed that there was no legitimate arrangement, grant, relationship, or business between Ebonyi and the Ford Foundation, as the Foundation explicitly disowned him and his NGO.
The anti-graft agency further disclosed that Ebonyi had acquired five properties as proceeds of his fraudulent activities.
Despite the ongoing investigation, Ebonyi reportedly continues to reach out to his subscribers through various social media platforms, attempting to market the spurious Ford Foundation grant.
Once the investigations are concluded, the EFCC plans to charge Ebonyi to court for the alleged fraud and related criminal activities.
The case underscores the need for vigilance against fraudulent schemes and emphasizes the EFCC’s commitment to combating financial crimes within the country.