EFCC nabs cleric for alleged N1.3bn fake grants scam and money laundering

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) has apprehended Apostle Theophilus Oloche Ebonyi for purportedly swindling church members and others through counterfeit grants from the Ford Foundation amounting to N1,319,040,274.31. 

The arrest comes in the wake of allegations of fraud and money laundering, although the cleric had reportedly denied the arrest, attributing the reports to fake news spread by bloggers.

The EFCC however, confirmed the arrest in a Monday, February 5, 2024, statement, saying the general overseer of Faith On The Rock Ministry International allegedly defrauded his victims by advertising an intervention project through his NGO (Theobarth Global Foundation) claiming that the Ford Foundation was offering a grant of $20,000,000.000 (Twenty Billion United State Dollars) to assist the less-privileged in the society.

“He allegedly beguiled his victims to subscribe as beneficiaries of the phony grant by asking them to pay for registration forms and clusters. Each subscriber was made to pay N1,800,000 (One Million, Eight Hundred Thousand Naira only). 

Through this arrangement, Ebonyi allegedly raked in N1,391,040,274.31. His subscribers are innocent and unsuspecting Nigerians and NGOs across the country,” the EFCC said.

“Investigations by the EFCC showed that the Ford Foundation had no arrangement, grant, relationship or business with Ebonyi. The Foundation pointedly disclaimed him and his NGO, stressing that it had no link whatsoever with them. The Commission has also traced five properties he acquired as proceeds of his criminal dealings.

“Ebonyi is still reportedly reaching his subscribers on some social media platforms to market his spurious grant from the Ford Foundation. He would be charged to court as soon as investigations are concluded.”
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