A 38 years old man, Ohio Ojeagbase, has landed in Kirikiri Maximum Prison for allegedly attempting to extort money from a popular pastor, Bishop (Dr.) Chris Kwakpovwe, the general overseer of the Manna Prayer Mountain and publisher of the daily devotional, ‘Our Daily Manna’.
Ojeagbase was reportedly arrested alongside a Lagos-based lawyer, one Uche Iloani, by the Federal Special Anti-Robbery Squad (SARS). Iloani is believed to be working in concert with Ohio, who publishes ‘Probiters Report’.
According to sources close to the church, Ohio and Iloani had planted a lady named Rita Ibeni in Bishop Kwapovwe’s ministry to function as a staff but whose real job was to feed the accused with information that could facilitate their extortion plans on the Bishop.
Rita who worked in the media department of the ministry for about five years, we were told, was fingered after a massive looting of the ODM Video Unit of media and video equipment worth N5.6 million. The main suspect and other departmental staffers were arrested. When Rita was confronted with evidence of the theft, she absconded from the office. This prompted her arrest at the instance of the ministry and a case was filed at Area H Police Command, Ogudu, Lagos.
Upon her arrest, sources alleged, Barr. Iloani, who claimed to be her counsel, came forward to demand for her immediate release with a plea to the ODM and the ministry that the matter would be settled out of court.
However, as soon as Rita Ibeni was granted bail, the story took a new twist as Mr. Ohio went to work.
The lawyer was said to have written a letter to Bishop Kwakpovwe claiming that the Bishop tried to oppress one of his staffers and that they were going to publish a story in that regard which could ‘finish’ the ODM Vision which has affected millions of lives across the globe, adding that whatever they tell the public will be believed since they have 250 million online membership. He reportedly demanded millions of naira from the man of God if he wanted the story killed.
Ohio was said to have told threaten the Bishop that he and his accomplices had recorded verbal (audio) conversations between Rita and the Bishop where the Bishop made sexual advances at the former. However, further probe and forensic examination later revealed that the recording was fake as the fabricated voice was not of Bishop Kwakpovwe.
After series of accusations and threats to publish negative story of sexual harassment and threat to life concerning the Bishop and even threats of kidnap of his loved ones by other faceless members of the group, sources said, they demanded settlement to avoid the story going viral, claiming it was not their intention to damage the image of the revered man of God.
They also allegedly told the Bishop that they had done a “human Google” on him and they knew his worth! At that point, the Bishop smelt a rat and he promptly reported the matter to the police.
The lawyer allegedly asked for N15 million (fifteen million naira) for inconveniences tagged as professional fees and the inconveniences his supposed client, Ms Rita Ibeni had gone through during her arrest, while Mr Ohio demanded for 50% of whatever is paid to the lawyer. We learnt that the suspects also gave the Bishop the option of handing in original copies of his property documents that they would help him facilitate quick loan from a bank so he could make the payment without stress.
That was when the Bishop Dr Chris Kwakpovwe went back to the police to lodge complaints. The police then advised that further calls, SMS or meetings be electronically recorded as evidence, and that was done, stated our sources.
The suspects were, however, rounded up on Wednesday, April 12th, 2017 in Ogudu, Lagos, while they were at the agreed venue where the Bishop would make the payment.
The case was charged to court on Thursday April 17, 2017 where the suspects were remanded at Kirikiri Maximum Prison over their inability to meet up with the bail conditions.
Speaking on the incident at the court premises, Bishop Kwakpovwe told journalists that he knew that this was a plot to distract him from the looted video equipment case, and to blackmail and extort money from him and discredit him as a man of God, but his proactive approach to get to the bottom before they carried out their nefarious acts stopped them in their tracks.
The man of God denied ever made love advances at the accused lady and would never even do so.
“I am used to such satanic fabrications, gang-ups, lies, concoctions and distractions,” he said.
The Bishop recalled a recent and lingering court case which involves a lady who took him to court for the ridiculous charge of falling down and breaking her teeth at a Lagos crusade six years ago.
He adds: “thousands of souls came for that programme from 23 countries, six years ago. The lady, whom I never met, took me to court and she is claiming N22 million damages. The case which provoked nationwide outrage against the lady is still on. As a man of God, such lies, manipulations, fabrications, temptations and battles are expected because the devil is mad and will be mad against any child of God who is living right and who is a terror to his kingdom. But he is only a roaring lion without teeth. Was Joseph not wrongfully attacked and blackmailed by Mrs Portiphar? But did he not sit on his throne at last? I have learnt that in life, success attracts uncommon battles and for every one person who celebrates your success, there are at least two others who are plotting your down fall. Indeed, there are no blue skies without storms but the rainbow is the final bus stop if you refuse to be distracted from your goals! Victory is sure by God’s grace! I shall make no deeper comments for now since the matter is before the courts.”