A 55-year-old spiritual healer, Samuel Zungwe, was on Thursday remanded by a Makurdi Magistrates’ Court for allegedly defrauding a woman of N16.5 million.
Zungwe, of Samuel Compound, Orlufaga, Den Street, Gbanka, Gboko Local Government Area of Benue, was arraigned by the Police on a one-count charge bordering on fraud.
The Magistrate, Mrs Adah Jack, did not, however, take the defendant’s plea for want of jurisdiction.
Jack ordered that the defendant be remanded in Makurdi Correctional Centre, pending further investigations.
She adjourned the case till November 7 for further mention.
The Police Prosecutor, Insp Regina Ishaya, told the court that a petition, dated October 3, was written by one Pevigo Peter to the Commissioner of Police, Benue State Command.
Ishaya said that the complainant said in his petition that sometime in 2011, his wife, Mrs Hajara Peter, came in contact with the defendant who convinced her that he could heal her of her abdominal pain.
He stated that the self-acclaimed religious healer lured Hajara to consistently pay him sums of money ranging from N70,000 to N120,000 monthly, all amounting to N15 million, under the pretence of building six churches.
She added that the defendant then warned the victim not to tell anybody or else, she and all her family members would die.
Ishaya said that sometime in September, the defendant also told the victim that he had completed the churches and needed money for fencing and furnishing.
She said that the defendant again forced the victim to again transfer N1.5 million to a Polaris Bank account number: 3043305117, with the name: Zungwe Samuel Atim.
The prosecutor said that the complainant further explained that when his wife demanded to see the churches being built, the defendant could not show her any.
She said that it was then that the victim realised that she had been duped by the defendant and reported the matter to her husband.
Ishaya said that during Police investigations, the phone number of the defendant was tracked and he was found in a hideout in Gboko East, Benue State, and arrested, adding that he had confessed to committing the crime.
She, however, said that the matter was still under investigation and prayed the court for another date for mention.
According to her, the offence contravenes Section 1(3) of Advance Fee Fraud and Other Related Offences Act, 2006 and Section 398 of the Penal Code Law of Benue State, 2004.