Pastor allegedly takes money from followers to take them to heaven

Police in Nigeria’s Ekiti state have launched an investigation to ascertain whether, indeed, one pastor, Ade Abraham, has taken huge sums of money from his congregants to take them to heaven.

Pastor Ade Abraham and his church

According to the BBC, an aggrieved member of the clergyman’s church lodged a complaint with the police about his alleged conduct.

The complainant told the police that the man of God had charged him 310,000 naira (GHC5643.25) to see the supposed heaven gate in Araromi-Ugbeshi town, Ekiti state, where he claimed that God had revealed to him.

It is reported that Pastor Ade Abraham’s church was originally based in Kogi state, then Kaduna state, before moving southwards with his followers to a camp he built in Ekiti state.

His unhappy follower who reported him to the police has since moved back home to Kaduna state, but his wife refused to join him, saying the "rapture" is coming soon, the BBC report says.

It is further reported that the Christian Association of Nigeria has released a statement disowning Pastor Ade Abraham, who is also known as Noah Abraham, and also condemned his alleged conduct.

He admitted to the BBC that he had made the statement about Heaven’s Gate, saying it was "the God he serves" who revealed it to him to test the faith of his church members.

He was, however, quick to deny allegations that he had charged his followers to take them to the supposed heaven.

The Ekiti state police have collected written statements from members of his church and launched an investigation, the BBC reports.

In an earlier report, the Malawian High Court found a Catholic priest and 11 others guilty of killing a man with albinism with the intent to use his body parts for witchcraft rituals.

MacDonald Masambuka, 22, was gruesomely murdered in 2018, and some suspects were arrested in connection with his death, and their trials have since been ongoing.

The deceased’s own brother was also among the people who have been convicted and are awaiting sentencing.

The murder of Masambuka follows a spike in gruesome killings of people with albinism, resulting in over 40 murders and 145 assaults on them.

The perpetrators of these murders hold the false belief that using body parts of albinos engenders wealth and luck.

Malawi’s director of public prosecutions, Steve Kayuni, told AFP that Masambuka’s brother had conspired with other accomplices to kill him.

The convicted brother of the deceased lured him to meet his friends, who he claimed had found him [Masambuka] a woman to marry. Little did he know that they were going to kill him.

"MacDonald was betrayed by those he had trust in, namely the brother, the priest, the policeman, and the clinical officer. These are positions of trust," the official said, as quoted by Thecitizen.co.tz.

The High Court on Thursday concluded that the 12 plotted to kill Masambuka to extract his bones for rituals that they were hoping to benefit from financially.

Reading the decision, judge Dorothy NyaKaunda Kamanga said: "This is a violation of the right to human life and the greatest violation of the rights to life and integrity for persons with albinism."

Sentencing of the convicts has been set for May 31.

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