EFCC nabs popular Edo bishop for running a Ponzi scheme

The Benin zonal office of the Economic and Financial Crime Commission (EFCC) has arrested a suspected fraudster and bishop, Giniko Obi, for allegedly defrauding thousands of people.

Bishop arrested for operating a Ponzi scheme

Obi, who is the founder of Beloved Gideon Foundation, based in Agbor, Delta State, with outreaches in Bayelsa, Onitsha, Lagos, Port Harcourt, Abuja, and Benin City is suspected of defrauding the populace of various sums of money running into millions of naira, in the guise of helping them "fight poverty".

According to a statement released by the acting spokesperson of EFCC, Tony Orilade, the suspect denied involvement in any fraudulent activity claiming that he was only “doing the will of God by trying to help the people fight poverty”.

Obi, who claimed to be a consecrated Bishop, said it was his desire and God's will to see people prosper that led him into operating what is regarded as a Ponzi Scheme.

He said, "We write books such as ‘24 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘36 Nuggets for Successful Living’, ‘48 Nuggets for Successful Living’. We organise seminars and conferences on how to be successful. We tell the people to subscribe to these publications. If you subscribe with N10,800, we give you N15,000. If you subscribe with N18,000, we give you N23,000. I had about 30,000 subscribers and I was paying them." 

According to one of his victim, Janet Amaka Okafor, Obi sold a dummy to them by claiming that he was from the famous Gideons International, based in the United States.

"He organised seminars in Agbor market that he was from Gideons International and that their mission was to help eradicate poverty in Nigeria. 

"He told us that unlike in the past when Gideons International distributed Bibles and Christian literature, their mission now was to eradicate poverty," she said.

Okafor claimed that she has never participated in any Ponzi scheme in the past and that she fell for his tricks because the "Bishop" swore with the bible.

Obi, however, claimed that "If they allowed me to hold the conference in Lagos, I would have paid them." 

The suspect will be arraigned before court.

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