A man of God who was arrested for drug trafficking says he stored the drug in his church for four months and prayed over it.
A resident pastor and senior prophet of the Eternal Sacred Order of Cherubim and Seraphim, Agodo-Egbe, Ikotun, Lagos State, Prophet Michael Raji, has been arrested by the National Drug Law Enforcement Agency (NDLEA), with illicit drugs worth N609 million.
Raji was banned at the Murtala Muhammed International Airport, on an outward flight to South Africa.
The 60-year-old pastor, in his confession to officials of the NDLEA, said that he hid the drugs in his church for four months after he received it from a friend, while he prayed for his successful smuggling trip.
The seized drugs concealed inside large bags of foodstuff were found to contain 91kg of Methamphetamine and 83kg of Ephedrine with an estimated street value of N609 million.
According to drug bursting agency, the cleric was caught while attempting to smuggle the 174 kilogrammes of narcotic drugs to South Africa and is said to be a top member of a drug syndicate operating in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
The Head, Media and Publicity, NDLEA, Mitchel Ofoyeju, said the suspect was arrested following the interception of the drugs at the cargo section of the Murtala Mohammed International Airport (MMIA) during pre-shipment examination.
"Preliminary investigation indicated that Raji is a suspected top member of a drug syndicate operating in Nigeria, Ghana and South Africa.
He had three international passports bearing his photographs with the names Michael Raji and Kadigun Fatah Ola respectively.
It was equally discovered that the church premises where he ministers also serves as a warehouse for narcotics."
Prophet Raji, on his part, said he received the drugs from his friend and kept them in the church since October 2014.
"I’m the resident pastor of Cherubim and Seraphim Agodo-Egbe, Ikotun branch, Lagos. I attended Ansarudeen Primary and Secondary School Ibadan. I later attended Yaba College of Technology where I had my Trade Test in Electrical Installation.
I was ordained a full time pastor in 1977. I hid the drug in my church for four months and also prayed for a successful trip.
This is a great temptation for me and I pray to God to overcome it."