By Adebayo Olodan
The General Overseer of Wonders of God’s Grace, Ilorin, Lawson Etoh has disowned one Pastor Chikodi Okorie, who is presently being held by security operatives over alleged burglary of a warehouse, belonging to one Chief Pius Godstime, located in the same building with the worship centre.
Recall that Okorie, who claimed to be a pastor of the church, was recently arrested by officers of the Special Anti-Robbery Squad (F-SARS) following consistent report of his burglary act by Godstime and a petrol black marketer.
Speaking with our reporter on the telephone at the weekend, Pastor Lawson Etoh said Okorie was an impostor as no one ever ordained him as a pastor.
“There was no time Okorie was our pastor because no one ordained him. He has never preached in our church before. He was only a new member of the congregation.
“I put the same question to him in the presence of the police including the PPRO and he could not respond.
“Unfortunately, the situation has affected our church so much but as believers, we are leaving everything to God,” he bemoaned.
When queried whether the church will be issuing a disclaimer against the acclaimed pastor, Etoh said, he is already in consultation with his lawyer in that direction, adding that the right steps would be taken in due course.
When contacted on the incident, the President General, Igbo Community Association in Kwara State, Boniface Okeke said the issue was discussed during the last meeting of the group on Friday.
“We discussed the issue at the meeting on Friday but at the moment, I don’t have much information on the issue yet. However, I have asked the Public Relations Officer of the association to get more details of the issue.”
National Pilot, had last week reported that an undisclosed black marketer who was on his way to getting fuel at a filling station in Post Office area, around 4:00am, raise the alarm over the suspicious movement of Okorie.
According to a source, conversant with the issue, each time Chief Godstime took delivery of goods, Okorie will overnight loot the warehouse thereby moving goods, mainly clothing items from the facility to his residential home.
After being inundated with reports of suspicious movements of Okorie, men of the F-SARS stormed the premises of Wonders of God’s Grace, one Wednesday to invite the acclaimed cleric for questioning at their office.
“Upon getting to the church, the F-SARS officers never wanted the congregation to get wind of their discussion with the pastor. They only went there to invite him for questioning but the pastor became aggressive and resisted leaving the church. The officers even suggested he invited his lawyer and it was on the suggestion he called his counsel and agreed to go with them,” a police source divulged.
During investigation, the security operatives were said to have discovered various collection and packs of clothes at the residence of Okorie in Ilorin.
According to the source, as soon as the looted goods were discovered at his house, Okorie who was earlier denying any wrongdoing later blamed devil for the illicit act while also pleading for forgiveness. He even tried to lure the officers with bribe but was out rightly turned down.
Efforts to get the reaction of Chief Godstime on the development proved abortive as he promised to get back to our reporter after leaving the police station, phone calls and text message put through his mobile phone were however not attended to as at the time of filing this report.