Makurdi - A 29-year-old self-proclaimed Reverend, Father Anthony Marie, was on Tuesday arraigned before a Makurdi Magistrates' Court for allegedly defrauding 12 people.
One Simon Onyeabo reported that the accused dishonestly deceived him that he was a Reverend Father assigned to train seminarians for Holy Face Congregation.
The complainant stated further that the accused under that pretext appointed him as his coordinator and induced him to collect the sum of N70 000 each from 12 applicants for the training.
He explained that the total collected was N840 000 from the 12 applicants and the "Reverend'' promised to take them to Cameroon after the training.
Onyeabo said that they later discovered while on training at the Holy Face Community House in Gboko, established by the Reverend, that he was operating an illegal institution.
He said that Marie had no approval from the Corporate Affairs Commission or Diocese of Gboko to operate the institution.
The complainant stated that when the accused realised that they had discovered his secret, he sent them away without refunding their money or sending them to Cameroon as promised..
During the police investigation, the accused was arrested for the alleged offence.
The prosecutor said that the offence contravened Section 324 of the Penal Code. When the case came up for mention, the accused person denied the allegation.
The prosecution said that the investigation into the matter was still ongoing and asked for another date for mention.
The Magistrate, Theresa Wergbah, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N50 000 and a surety in the same amount.
Wergbah adjourned the matter to January 16.