Jeremiah Ehindero, a Pastor of Jesus Miracle Church located in Sango Ota, Ogun State, who was said to have stolen a vehicle worth N1.2 million has now been arrested by the Federal Special Anti-robbery Squad (FSARS) at his residence in the state.
When he was arrested and paraded by FSARS, the 41-year-old pastor, confessed to the theft, blaming the devil for his action. He also said that his congregation’s tithes and offerings were not enough to pay off a N650,000 bank loan he took to renovate his church.
"I decided to steal the SUV to sell and use the proceeds to settle the N650,000 I borrowed from a microfinance bank in Lagos.
“I borrowed the sum of N650,000 from a microfinance bank to renovate my church with the hope to recover the investment from tithes and offerings, but I was surprised that for three months, no money was realised to repay the loan.
“When the pressure from the microfinance bank became too unbearable for me, the devil told me to go and steal a vehicle from the car dealer to sell and use the proceeds to repay the loan. I regret my action," he told the police.
After thorough investigations, the police confirmed that Ehindero visited a car dealer, called Jamiu, in Sango Ota. He requested for a Toyota Highlander SUV from the dealer, saying he wanted it for evangelism. He requested for the car so he could go for a test run, but he fled with the Toyota Highlander Sports Utility Vehicle (SUV) and sold it off at Ore, Ondo State, for N600,000.
After failing to return with the car in 24 hours, the car dealer, Jamiu, alerted the Deputy Commissioner of Police (DCP) in charge of FSARS, Lagos, Mr. Kola Okunola Kamaldeen, who then commenced the chase for the culprit. Thus, Ehindero was caught.
The police also arrested the man who allegedly bought the car, Lateef Oyetunde, along with two people who introduced the buyer to the pastor, Jamiu Abiodun and Lukman Moyoyesa.
However, Oyetunde, the man who bought the vehicle, denied having any knowledge that the SUV was stolen.
He said: “If I had known that the pastor stole the SUV, I would not have purchased it."