‘I never asked that woman to bring any child to me’ – Embattled Lagos pastor tells his story
Prophet Ernest Chukwuemeka Nwankwo, General overseer of Holy Family, Happy Family Ministry has opened up concerning the allegations of a woman who claimed to be a parishioner at his church and who was caught kidnapping a young child in Ikorodu, Lagos purportedly to sell to the Prophet for N2.5 million.
In this interview with Vanguard’s Crime Guard, Nwankwo tells his side of the story:
My name is Prophet Ernest Chukwuemeka Nwankwo, from Nsugbe in Anambra East L.G.A, Anambra State. I have a Ministry formerly called Jesus Divine Healing and Deliverance Ministry now called Holy Family, Happy Family Ministry. I was out of Lagos for two weeks. I came back on Tuesday, June 14, and came to my Ministry on Wednesday morning.
My ministry is located at 319, Lagos road, Majudeen in Ikorodu. We carry out prayers and deliverance in the ministry.
The ministry started in 1997. We have no less than 15000 members with a spread in virtually all the major cities in Nigeria including the Federal Capital Territory, Abuja. I started as a member of Catholic Charismatic Renewal Movement before I established my own ministry. I am 49 yrs.
I do not know how these allegations of ritual actions against me started. My ministry has existed for 17 years and we have never been associated with any bad thing or any untoward allegation. We have been doing well in carrying out God’s work since we came into existence. People troop to our ministry, we organize children’s day for over 30,000 children all over our branches every year. In Ikorodu, we normally have not less than 10,000 children during the day.
We have hosted these children since we stated and we have never had any problem for more than 10 years now. We have equally been doing well in all our activities, we have rehabilitation center where mad people are healed. Relations of such people bring them to our ministry and also stay with them until they are healed after which they will go home. We do not charge them, we feed them free. So, the ministry has been flourishing in all our branches.
“When I got to the office on Wednesday, June 15 to do some work and leave for Abuja for another programme, within 20 minutes, around 7.30am, a group of people, armed with dangerous weapons invaded our ministry, breaking down everything at sight. They also descended on our members who were over 50 in attendance for the morning worship.
They were over 300 and were ferociously destroying all the properties and manhandling everybody. It was like hell was let loose on us. They were armed to the teeth and were unrestrained in their bid to destroy everything in the ministry.
They not only subjected our members to serious beating, they also took all their bags and stripped all the women and children naked. I was inside the office when they invaded the place but they later broke into my office and descended on me. We were all seriously wounded and our bodies covered with blood.
Surprisingly, four of the hoodlums took pity on me and rescued me from their clutches as they were hitting my head with cutlasses and dangerous weapons. They took me to Owutu police station where I made a statement. When they asked me how it started, I could not explain but simply told them that some hoodlums invaded our ministry for no just cause.
It was while we were there that the people that rescued me told us that a woman claimed I sent her to kidnap somebody’s child. It was like a fairy tale to me. Before the police I asked for the identity of the woman and why she claimed I told her to kidnap somebody and they said it was for ritual purposes. After I recovered from the shock, the policemen then advised that I should go and treat myself because I was bleeding profusely as a result of the beating.
I then proceeded to the hospital for treatment only to start reading in the papers the following day a lot of other damaging stories and that I was on the run. I personally reported to the police at Owutu in Ikorodu after treating myself and also personally reported at Panti the following day on a Monday.
By Thursday morning, unfounded rumours were flying every where. On Friday, while I was going to treat myself, I quickly sent my lawyer to Panti after hearing the rumours flying everywhere about me and that the case was transferred to Panti.
My lawyer told them that I personally reported to the police at Owute after the incident and that I was allowed to go and treat myself. He then wrote an undertaking to produce me the next Monday and we all came to Panti that Monday straight from the General hospital Ikeja where I had an x-ray. Even one of my ribs was said to have cracked and I sustained other serious injuries.
I can’t remember seeing or meeting the woman before. A lot of people come to my ministry so, it will be very difficult for me to know all of them. However, the police at Panti interrogated both of us and, in fact, when they brought her before me, I could not remember seeing her in life and I told the policemen this fact. I can’t even remember whether she called me on telephone or not because I cannot say the number of people that call me on telephone for my number is open and given to people freely to help in solving their spiritual problems.
Nevertheless, the police interrogated both of us, she claimed that Holy spirit told her that I should give her N2.5 million, and that she came and told me to give her the money but I told her that I had no money, that she came back again to me and requested for the money and I then told her to go and bring a child before I will give her the money.
I then asked her where we discussed this, if she has any evidence to show that she ever visited my ministry because visitors to the ministry always register their names before seeing me, or if there is any other evidence to show that we discussed that kind of thing. I punctured her story because I cannot understand what concerns me with her message with her Holy spirit.
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