Man impersonates MFM pastor, defrauds civil servant in Lagos


A 29-year-old man, Divine-Praise Diri, has pleaded guilty to three counts of impersonation and fraud preferred against him by the police.

Diri was said to have impersonated a pastor of the Mountain of Fire and Miracle Ministries to defraud a civil servant in the Lagos State Government, Itohan Odiase.

It was learnt that the suspect had secretly sourced personal information about the complainant before approaching her, claiming that he saw a revelation about her.

She was said to have been taken in by his tricks and believed him.

After some time, Diri reportedly demanded N13,000, as payment for prayers and deliverance from the victim.

She was said to have given him the money.

Our correspondent learnt that the suspect later began to pester Odiase to attend a vigil on any Thursday night.

The victim, who became curious, reportedly enquired from members of the church if they held vigils on Thursdays, which they denied.

It was learnt that Odiase reported the matter at the Sabo Police Division and the suspect was arrested.

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He was subsequently arraigned before a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ Court, Lagos State.

The police told the court that they recovered from the suspect, a bottle of anointing oil, ten prayer books written by the General Overseer of MFM, Dr. Daniel Olukoya.

The charges read in part, “That you, Divine-Praise Diri, on June 3, 2015, on Toyin Street Ikeja, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did obtain the sum of N13, 000 from one Itohan Odiase under the pretext of praying and conducting deliverance for her, a representation you knew to be false and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 311 and punishable under Section 312 (1) (a) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2011.”

Diri pleaded guilty to the charges.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs. Bola Folarin-Williams, adjourned facts and sentence till June 23, 2015.

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