A Magistrate court in Benue state has arraigned a man suspected of parading himself as a priest and operating an illegal seminary.
Anthony Marie Wendji of Bangassou in the Central African Republic (CAR) had been running the unlicensed seminary and training intending seminarians while pretending he had the necessary capacity to prepare them for the priesthood.
Mr. Wendji is now facing charges of cheating and deception because of his alleged offences perpetrated under false pretences.
Leadership Newspaper reports:
The offence contravenes Section 324 of the Benue state laws, 2004.
The suspect was alleged to have collected the sum of N70,000 each from 12 applicants, amounting to N840,000 to train them as reverends and send them for further studies in Cameroon.
LEADERSHIP gathered that one Simon Eze Onyeabo of No. 7 Mission Street, Emere, Enugu State, reported to the police ‘A’ division, Gboko, that the accused had deceived him that he, (Wendji) is operating a seminary to train priests.
The police prosecutor, James Zungwe, said the suspect claimed he was assigned to train seminarians for the Holy Face Congregation which branch is in Gboko town of the state and had appointed Simon Onyeabo to collect the said money from the 12 applicants.
It was learnt that during training at the Holy Face Congregation House, Gboko, established by the fake reverend, the 12 victims discovered that the seminary was illegal and not registered with the Corporate Affairs Commission and the Catholic Diocese of Gboko.
Sequel to the discovery, the fake reverend sent the applicants away without refunding their money and or sending them to Cameroon and quickly recruited new seminarians.