It was gathered that Pastor ThankGod had been spreading the rumour that he was related to a renowned catholic priest, Rev. Fr. Ejike Mbaka and that has contributed to the swiftness of his operation.
The venue of these holy trickeries is the church vigil ground at No 16 Nwachukwu Drive, Okota Road, Lagos State. There he uses his influence to gain trust from his worshippers who at the end of the day entrust him with their money.
It was gathered that the ministry is not run as a church per se; Pastor ThankGod holds only vigil at the ground, which is communicated to the worshippers whenever he feels they need to worship. When Saturday Sun visited the church venue, the ground was locked up with pieces of electric wire. The church was built with plywood and looked abandoned. When the whereabouts of the pastor was sought, the person who was in the church premises told the reporter that the pastor only sees people on appointment and he must be reached on personal cell phone, yet he refused to give out the pastor’s number.
Narrating his ordeal in tears, Ben Chukwu, who hails from Ebonyi said that the pastor’s actions would have made him lose faith in christianity if not that he is a strong believer. He thought he has seen a sanctuary for him and his family to worship God and grow in faith.
“When I joined the ministry in April 2015, I was thinking it was going to be like a church which was making me have cold feet, but as time passed, I began to like the ministry but then the pastor would call for assistance which I would provide; most time it does not go beyond 10,000,” he stated.
As a good businessman, Ben decided to diversify his business and before doing that, he also wanted to put God first. “The kind of business I do, suffers breakdown during rainy season and winter, that made me look for alternatives, so that my family will not suffer.
“At first, I told my agent that I wanted a big store for a supermarket, after getting one for me, he advised me to pray about it and that was how I called my pastor. I invited him over,” he added.
Ben invited Pastor ThankGod into his house believing that he has invited the heavenly host and as such, his business is assured. “It was during the discussion and prayer sessions that he said that God revealed to him that the business was going to crash. He later told me that he had someone who is into importation of tiles and he was doing well and by investing in that line of business, I would not need much work force, only a personal secretary.
“I accepted and he gave me the person’s number, Mr Anthony Chukwu, who the pastor claimed is a member of the church. Anthony confirmed that he was into importation of tiles and with N1.3m I could become an importer. He said the business was a joint business and once the goods were cleared I would have my share. I then transferred the money into his account. After one month, Anthony called me that they needed money for loading and shipment.
“From that day onwards, I was getting confusing and contradictory stories. It got to a point that they told me that someone else would take over my business and would pay me back after selling the goods. I called the pastor and told him, he said that I should not bother that my goods will come and when I was fed up this same pastor told me that he would use his influence to make sure that my money was remitted to me.
“During this period, they also called me that I needed to bring N250, 000 to clear the goods, I told them that I would not pay until I see my goods. I decided to report the case to the police last week Monday and they found out that Anthony has been a crony for the pastor. I trusted him because I felt I was dealing with a renowned family. The pastor told me that he is related to Rev. Mbaka and I confirmed it. It was part of what I heard that led me to the ministry,” he stated.
When Saturday Sun confronted Pastor Thankgod with the allegations, he didn’t deny them. “I think I have a case like that and we are trying to resolve it. If this is your number, I will call you to give you full details”, he stated but never called back as promised.