Lokoja - The Kogi Police Command has arrested four fake pastors and three others while attempting to defraud the public through pre-arranged miracles and wonders at a book launch in Lokoja.
The Commissioner of Police in the state, Alhaji Mohammed Katsina, who disclosed this to journalists in Lokoja on Tuesday, said the suspects included a woman.
Katsina said the fake pastors were invited for the June 5, launch by author of the book, a Lokoja-based Bishop, Abraham Bamidele, of the Eagles Kingdom Church.
According to him, the leader of the con men, Pastor Chuks Ingalis, from Port-Harcourt came with a sinister motive of helping to defraud the public to the tune of about N2.5 million, being target of the book launch.
He said that Ingalis, who was the Guest Speaker and Master of Ceremony (MC) at the occasion, came with his agents whom he assigned specific roles.
He said that ''the woman played the role of mammy water agent, one of the men played the role of a blind man seeking healing while others provided information on personalities.
Katsina said that, at the peak of the preaching, the fake pastor walked up to the woman and said, ''you, this woman, what are you doing here, you agent of doom. I know where you come from, you are here to destroy.''
The woman, he said, came out, put up a little drama and fell, presumably under ''anointing'' and began to confess.
She was claiming to have been sent from a river in Port-Harcourt to destroy or weaken the power of the bishop.
The woman also produced a bag with a live tortoise in it claiming that it was her source of power, and the pastor seized it, and ordered that it should be burnt to ashes.
The police commissioner said the congregation was watching in awe as the order was carried out.
Katsina said the suspects would be charged with ''cruelty to animals,'' among other charges.
He said that the pastor, thereafter, declared the launch open, and urged that it should commence with those with N200,000 each.
Ingalis, however, told newsmen that he came to represent the pastor invited by Bishop Bamidele.
He said that the pastor instructed him to ensure that the target of N2.5million was met and that he deployed the strategies to enable him succeed.
On whether he actually contracted the woman, Nnenanya Ikechukwu, to act as mammy water agent, he said, ''every profession, including lawyers, doctors, and even the police, have their ways of achieving results.''
The suspects, apart from Bamidele, Ingalis and Lady Nnenanya, included Pastors Chinedu Okosisi and Samson Prince and Messrs Osita Chukwu and Samuel Ike.