KADUNA- The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has apprehended a clergyman known as Pastor Joseph Oluwa on suspicions of swindling a total of N25 million from 1,132 mechanics and various technicians in Kaduna State.
His victims were said to be members of the National Automobile Technicians Association (NATA).
Oluwa was first arrested on August 2, following the tension that ensued between him and members of NATA. He was however taken to the EFCC based on request for further investigation.
The suspect reportedly promised loans ranging from N500,000 to N1 million to interested beneficiaries within the NATA, but failed to fulfill his commitments, causing financial distress among the members.
Chairman of NATA, Kaduna Chapter, Bola Ahmed Lawal, told journalists that his members had contributed 1% of the loan amount and paid N270 each as part of the process at a private bank in August 2021.
The pastor assured that the loans would be disbursed within 90 days of the contributions. However, even after two years, the loans had not been provided.
Lawal emphasized that the association’s primary objective was to recover the accumulated sum of over N25 million due to the unfulfilled loan promises.
The affected members, who were in need of financial assistance to enhance their businesses, faced difficulties due to the unmet loan commitments.
Acting Public Relations Officer of the Kaduna Police Command, Mansir Hassan, confirmed that the suspect was initially taken to the State Criminal Investigation Department (SCID) on charges of cheating and breach of trust.
Based on a request from the EFCC, he was handed over to officials from the commission for further investigation.