EFCC Press Release: Court Jails Two Pastors 10 Years Over Illegal Banking

Glory Abrefera and Reverend Vincent Okpogo

Two ‘men of God’ Pastor Glory Abrefera and Reverend Vincent Okpogo have been sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each by Justice Ibrahim Buba of the Federal High Court, Asaba, Delta State.  Justice Buba found Pastor Abrefera and Reverend Okpogo including their company, Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited guilty on a four count charge of carrying out banking practice without licence. The accused persons were said to have collected over N1 billion from different individuals and organizations as deposits in an illegal banking practice. They have also failed to account for all the deposits they collected.

Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited was convicted on two counts and fined N2 million on each of the counts. Pastor Abrefera and Reverend Okpogo, both directors of Mustard Seed Micro Investment limited, were also convicted on two counts and sentenced to 10 years imprisonment each. They were equally fined N2 million on each of the counts. The terms are to run concurrently.
 
The accused persons were said to have sometimes between 2006 and 2007 at Warri, Delta State engaged in banking practice without the required banking license and thereby committed an offence contrary to section 2(2) of the Banks and Other Financial Institutions Act, Cap B3, Vol 2, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004.
 
Part of the charges reads: “that Pastor Glory Okeoghene Abrefera, Reverend Vincent Okpogo and Mrs Nonye Abrefera (still at large) whilst being directors of Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited sometime between 2006 and  2007 at Warri, Delta State within the jurisdiction of the Federal High Court knowingly consented to the carrying on of banking business without a valid licence by the company thereby committed an offence contrary to Section (2) and 49(1)of the Banks and other Financial Institutions Act Cap B(3), Vol 2, laws of the Federation of Nigeria 2004”.

The so-called men of God were arrested following a petition filed by some of the depositors to the EFCC, detailing the dubious activities of the accused persons. The EFCC subsequently intervened, investigated the activities of the voodoo bank and arraigned the suspects in 2011.

Counsel to EFCC, G. K. Latona described the judgment as a milestone in the Nigerian judiciary. He said it was the first time that persons were convicted for carrying out banking practice without the required licence. He said the judgment would serve as a deterrent to other persons engaging in such nefarious activities.

Wilson Uwujaren
Ag. Head, Media & Publicity
7th January, 2012
 

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this judgment get k leg

The name of their micro finance bank is not mustard seed. That is the parent company's name. They functioned like every other micro finance bank with same clear cut agenda but mismanaged processes.
The fell rapidly cos' they got involved in too many businesses all happening in a short interval. They had a functional eateries though closed now.
The judgement shows they don't have backbones considering EFCC antecedent of failed cases, with culprits threatening to remove their directors.

Wonders shall never end

I just pray that other clergymen will learn thier lesson and stay out of disgrace like this.

OMG! I hope it wasn't Pastor

OMG! I hope it wasn't Pastor Palmer!

judicial foul

i find the sentence given by the judge out of place and uncommon considering that grievious crimes were commited by highly connected individuals in this country but were given laughable sentences. Imagine an individual who stole billions of naira to spend most of the jail term in a clinic or that such individual is made to pay a paltry fine of 3 million or a jail term of 3 months. We all know that this is pure selective rendering of justice to the 2 individuals simply becouse they are not in the favours of the powers that be or that they have not rendered adquate returns to temper with the out come of the judgement. With this trend of events it becomes obvious that naija will continue to drift is such degenarating state and the consequences are beyong fathorming, the little insecurities we are faced with, am afraid can only be refered to as a tip of the ice berg. What a pity .

Otile & Oleku... You are Aliens! Go Back to Your Planet!!!

Otile! Otile!! Ooooh Otile!!! You & Oleku! Seriously, what is wrong with you two?! Are you sure you two are not aliens or decendants of devil? Or are you ''dujal''? Why must you duos brew smelling oozing pus from what ever story you read... and painfully you post it for people to read. You two are worst than AIDS!!! You are an annoying disease! Miserable, diseased, condemed, doomed, lunatic, ostracized, devlish nincompoops like you!

Re: To corrupt men of God

When have theological institutes started teaching financial management or banking and finance to have enabled the so called men of God acquire the necessary skills to run a bank. Anyway, the simple truth is that those men are currupt and deserved what they got. Thanks to EFCC.

pls stop dis relegious fight in Nigeria.

The true religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,(and)to keep oneself unspotted from the world.(james 1:27) stop fighting for religion, remember God said vengence belongs to Him. If u are a true christian why are you fighting for God? Can't God fight His battles any more? And if u are a true muslem why fighting for Alah? Can't Alah figth His battles any more? The truth is dis let those criminals face the law. Forget if the judge is a muslem or a christian. Let us call a spade a spade a thief is a thief pastor or no pastor. Pls Nigerians let us join hands together to better our country Nigeria she is the only country we have. U as a christian if u should go to israel u will treated as a stranger likewise our muslem brother if u should go to Mica u will be treated as a atranger too. Muslem, christian whatever name u call ur religion stand for the truth for Nigeria to move to d next levels.

pls stop dis relegious fight in Nigeria.

The true religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,(and)to keep oneself unspotted from the world.(james 1:27) stop fighting for religion, remember God said vengence belongs to Him. If u are a true christian why are you fighting for God? Can't God fight His battles any more? And if u are a true muslem why fighting for Alah? Can't Alah figth His battles any more? The truth is dis let those criminals face the law. Forget if the judge is a muslem or a christian. Let us call a spade a spade a thief is a thief pastor or no pastor. Pls Nigerians let us join hands together to better our country Nigeria she is the only country we have. U as a christian if u should go to israel u will treated as a stranger likewise our muslem brother if u should go to Mica u will be treated as a atranger too. Muslem, christian whatever name u call ur religion stand for the truth for Nigeria to move to d next levels.

pls stop dis relegious fight in Nigeria.

The true religion and undefiled before our God and Father is this, to visit the fatherless and widows in their affliction,(and)to keep oneself unspotted from the world.(james 1:27) stop fighting for religion, remember God said vengence belongs to Him. If u are a true christian why are you fighting for God? Can't God fight His battles any more? And if u are a true muslem why fighting for Alah? Can't Alah figth His battles any more? The truth is dis let those criminals face the law. Forget if the judge is a muslem or a christian. Let us call a spade a spade a thief is a thief pastor or no pastor. Pls Nigerians let us join hands together to better our country Nigeria she is the only country we have. U as a christian if u should go to israel u will treated as a stranger likewise our muslem brother if u should go to Mica u will be treated as a atranger too. Muslem, christian whatever name u call ur religion stand for the truth for Nigeria to move to d next levels.

KUDOS TO EFCC TEAM LED BY G.K. LATONA

This is a GREAT NEWS to ALL Warri investors in particular and Nigerians in general. During the period these men (PASTOR GLORY OKEOGHENE ABREFERA -the CEO Mustardseed Micro Investment Ltd, Warri, Delta State and his deputy REV VINCENT OKPOGO) was in operation, many people (including retirees, market women/men, artisans etc) deposited their hard earned/life savings money with this WONDER BANK. Within a twinckle of an eye, the above pastors folded up the business and disappear into the thin air. Many investors have died as a result of their action while many others are now bed ridden with high BP/Stroke. The investors (including my humble self) have no hope of getting our monies back. We thank God for EFCC's intervention and I believe there is HOPE at the end of the tunnel. I have also read the comments of my co-SAHARA readers, but it is only those who wear shoes know where it huts. Please let us support EFCC to serve us better. KUDOS TO EFCC TEAM. Long live G.K. LATONA - the EFCC lawyer

KUDOS TO EFCC TEAM LED BY G.K. LATONA

This is a GREAT NEWS to ALL Warri investors in particular and Nigerians in general. During the period these men (PASTOR GLORY OKEOGHENE ABREFERA -the CEO Mustardseed Micro Investment Ltd, Warri, Delta State and his deputy REV VINCENT OKPOGO) was in operation, many people (including retirees, market women/men, artisans etc) deposited their hard earned/life savings money with this WONDER BANK. Within a twinckle of an eye, the above pastors folded up the business and disappear into the thin air. Many investors have died as a result of their action while many others are now bed ridden with high BP/Stroke. The investors (including my humble self) have no hope of getting our monies back. We thank God for EFCC's intervention and I believe there is HOPE at the end of the tunnel. I have also read the comments of my co-SAHARA readers, but it is only those who wear shoes know where it huts. Please let us support EFCC to serve us better. KUDOS TO EFCC TEAM. Long live G.K. LATONA - the EFCC lawyer

EFCC GET A LIFE!

In as much as i do not condone the act, i think EFCC is wasting our time prosecuting and informing us about petty thefts. These guys dont even look like they've seen thousands talkless of millions. On the other hand, we want to see the prosecution of our political leaders, they are the ones that are corrupting the religious leaders once they stop it will trickle down. I have also observed that the guy on the right resembles someone in Aso rock, is there any blood connection?

East or West (or North): home is best

Being a most ecumenical person I shall start collecting tithes from all believers: no diskriminahson whatsoever.

I shall - also - hide your funds well-well.

This is no 'empty promise'' my coffers (vaults) are filling up and kia-kia so.

Prof-of-penkele-vaults

See me, see trouble.

What brought religious/tribal abuse into this matter? Anyway, how many Imams have large luxurious car convoys in Nigeria, how many 'OWN' Mosques talk more of private jets? A corrupt Christian & corrupt Muslim are the same. Islam abhor's corruption in any form CAN ANYBODY CONTEST THE GOODNESS, FAIRNESS AND JUSTICE IN NON-INTEREST BANKING? THAT IS ISLAMIC BANKING. The truth shall forever remain superior. Your hatred shall eventually destroy you, keep attacking Islam it is your duty to ignorantly help Islam spread. It is not the religion that is bad it is the adherents just as you can see in these rogue pastors.

what a paradox!

The so called men of God, are being divulge themselves in crime what a man of God is this? there are many among people that practices the same as this two men of God did. what a paradox is this?.

@Otile, Oleku: Go get a life !

@Otile, Oleku

Morons ... can you show us the research that linked a particular religion or tribe to corruption ?

@Otile: Are the deputies of IBB, Abacha, Abdusalami also Muslims ? is OBJ also a muslim and did he not steal ? Is HipoPatience a muslim ? Now you know you are a moron !

@Oleku:
If only Dumbo would steal and atleast build schools with it so you could be schooled properly else you haven't a life .. do you ? Every article has same TRIBALISTIC response from you. Guess what? Dangiote and Otedola are the closest to coward Jonathan today .... in the equation, you are a worthless nobody !

SO JUSTICE BUBA CAN SEND SOMEONE TO PRISON

Wonders will never end in Naija justice system, if only these two evil pastors belong to some cult they still will be walking free now, in any case it's a good judgement for these two cause a lot of untimely death and depression to hundreds of greedy investors in Delta state, what is strange here is that the judgement came from Justice Buba??? Na wa oooh.

You are very funny

Which Imam in the North has ever involved in fraud the way your pastors were? You want to resist the only religion that has solutions to your problem. You are indeed funny

Hassan, are u out of your mind?

What has islam got to do with this? Do you really understand english? read between the line again before passing comment. Who among these men mentioned by you indulge in such atrocities done by your pastors.

Oleku, why are u talking like

Oleku, why are u talking like this. if you have any grudges for these men, use other medium to put them to book. Which among these pastors indulge on fake banking system? please, dnt express your hanger with sentiments. Be sincere with yourself

Wonderful

MR the judge is not even clean U can say it bcos the men of are caught but if it is to be an Imam what is ur comment. YEYE

MEN OF GOD OR.......

I wonder how could MEN OF GOD to be engage themselves in stealing fraudsters,419,un ethical behaviour and so on, may be they taught their followers how to practice it, God save niaja woooooooooo of these useless MEN OF GOD

IS IT ONLY FOR THE POOR?

I wonder why justice is always passed to poor and hlpless citizens. Yes the pastors deserve punishment for operating a mfb without an approval and licence. But my worry is that would this kind off judgement be passed if the person(s) involve were politicians. Look at governors,house members, senators, chairmen of Local gvt council looting public funds and the Judiciary service have not done anything about. It's only God that would help Nigerians;mostly the poor.

Men of God! Upon all the

Men of God! Upon all the money which u'r collecting every sunday from ur followers, is not enough until u go for illigal banking? Good Job EFCC, continue to fish them out hypcrtes.

re: what about others.

Walerich. The fact that they are pastors, they are suppose to be jail for life. These are people we expect to preach humanity, equity and justice. We expect them to preach to preach to the so called northerners to stop corruption but they are cut red handed.

At Otile stealing and Armed robbery is what keep churches now

Ole Otile let me let you know since the they were born Pastors, Reverend and Bishops are thieves. Your brother Fela had already revealed their secrets. They steal, fuck your wives, mums, sisters and children in churses. Some even have sex with small children, which we recently witnessed in Vatican. Some are cult members and many were caught cutting children head. Recently, OBJ a southerner was caught with his daughter inlaw. Chime with his sister inlaw. Lastly, tell where CAN president got money to buy Jet. Was it from selling pami or ogogoro, ur only resources.

Good

Thank God that u accepted d fact that they are pastors frm d south. They might have undergone their pastoral training in the North. Dont u think so?

illegal Banking Convictions

It is not wether you are Ibo or Yoruba that matters here. Wherever we find dubious activities let us join hands to condemn it. The moment we read tribal sentiments into things like this then we are not helping ourselves. I am Yoruba and I know we do not condone stealing. Where you see some groups claiming a criminal that has just been caught is a businessman, you will not see a Yoruba man stick out his neck to defend a suspect. If you want to operate a bank go and obtain licence. If it is a Church let it remain a church. Do not capitalise on the gullibility of members to rip them of their hard earned resources in the name of setting up a bank. Go bless Nigeria

Otile

Just bcos the persons involved were christians and the one who presided over d case was a Muslim, them Islam and muslims must b castigated 4 convicting criminals? May b EFCC and GEJ are Mulims in disguise! Why dont u get tired of using ur head as a hat stand?

Jail them and throway d keys in d ocean na Igbos, Oh Biafra!!!

Simply put, these two guys weren't jailed because of the alleged crime committed. They were jailed because they are not from the omo Yorubas enclaves. We have devilish con men parading themselves as men of God operating from ibadan to ijebu ode and lagos who are stupendously rich. They fly in jets, rides in porshe cars whilst we hail them. These con men helps the looters to syphoned our money abroad. They dine and wine with the power that be in naija. They uses different schemes to swindle money from gullible naijas on a daily basis and the EFCC act as if they don't know them. I am talking of no other than the most hilarious con man of them all witch slapper oyedepo, fake healer T.B joshua, politicians asslicker adepoye, molester olukoya and the pounds fraudster ashimolowo. These men and Yorubas are the problem of naija. But unfortunately our jails are meant only for the Ibori's and the Igbos. And they want us to believe naija is one. How sad!

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