Self-Acclaimed cleric, Pastor Noah Abraham, the founder of the Christ High Commission is in the news for allegedly asking his church members to pay him a fee of N310, 000 to obtain flight tickets to heaven.
He is also keeping some number of persons in his church in what he describes as preparation for the coming of Jesus Christ, otherwise known as the rapture.
But reacting, Abraham said there was a spiritual explanation noting that God had instructed him to charge his members N310, 000 to test their faith.
Abraham started his Church from Kabba in Kogi State, in 2019, then moved to Kaduna due to a community dispute. Subsequently, he relocated his church to a gated compound in Araromi-Ugbesi, Omuo-Oke-Ekiti in Ekiti East local council area of Ekiti State.
The cleric noted that the new church base will be a place to “prepare for the end of the world.” He sees himself as a nomadic evangelist whose ministry has helped many people.
Abraham allegedly asked each member of his church to pay him N310,000 before they would be allowed to follow him to Omu-Ekiti, where “the gate of heaven will open for all of them to fly to heaven.”
Although he claimed not to have received any payment, he noted that the police had visited the church to check things for themselves.
An aggrieved relative reportedly exposed the cleric’s designs. The former member of the Kaduna branch invited the police to help secure the release of his wife and three children who headed to the camp without his consent.
He had gone to get them himself, but his wife reportedly rebelled, returning nearly three weeks to the camp; he managed to retrieve his children though.
Another relative of Abraham, reportedly accused his brother-in-law of selling off his belongings and taking the proceeds to the pastor, asking his wife (the man’s sister) to forget their 21-year-old marriage since she refused to follow him.
Meanwhile, the Ekiti state police command has quizzed the pastor. The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO) Sunday Abutu, confirmed it.
According to the police spokesperson, they invited Abraham “on the allegation of asking his members to part with N310,000 for them to prepare for the end of the world.”
However, the Divisional Crime Officer (DCO) of the Omuo-Oke Divisional Police Headquarters, Joshua Sunday, absolved the pastor of blame.
He said a preliminary investigation showed that he didn’t force anyone to join him at the camp.
It was gathered that as of April 26, 38 people including almost a dozen children, had been with him for weeks. These persons at the camp are secondary and university students who have decided not to return to school because they are waiting for the rapture.
Reacting, the cleric, described the ticket to heaven fee charge to extort his members as untrue noting that he ‘tested’ his members with it because God instructed him to request N310,000 from those who want to come along with him within three days.
He explained that the camp in Ekiti is to provide support for those who wanted to stay with him, and that his bank account is under surveillance to know the inflow of money going in and out.
He said: “When my church members in Kaduna heard that I was relocating to Ekiti, they indicated interest to join me, but I’ve not done something like that before. So, I told God, and God told me go and test their faith by asking them to pay N310,000, and they will be able to enter heaven.”
But a statement during the week by Kaduna CAN Chairman, Rev John Joseph Hayab, disowned the Pastor, stating that the cleric was not a member of CAN in the state nor his church registered with the body.
Hayab, said even Pastor Ade’s offer of a ticket to heaven was cheaper than the ransom Kaduna bandits asked their victims.
“A faceless character like Pastor Ade Abraham can easily give the faith of the community a bad name especially that CAN cannot trace his whereabouts or find any useful information about his being in Kaduna state.
“Is it possible that Ade Abraham before becoming spiritual had lived in Kaduna or did he come to Kaduna for a visit? How can we have such a pastor and nobody knows him only for us to read about his drama in the media whereas the journalists in Kaduna do not have this information?”
“CAN Kaduna State appeals to whosoever knows pastor Ade Abraham or the location of a church in Kaduna linked to the alleged person to furnish our association with the information so that we could work with security agencies to prevent what could further compound the security challenges faced in the state.
“CAN will not decide what sermon her priests should preach but CAN will not hesitate to expose fake preachers when she finds one, especially when the sermon contradicts the teachings contained in the Holy Scriptures.
“CAN, therefore, calls for a proper investigation of Pastor Ade Abraham’s identity, and the location of his ministry to put the record straight to avoid creating panic and misleading the public.
“If Pastor Ade Abraham’s camp is in Ekiti and the sacred place where God is coming to rapture those who have paid their rapture fees, why is Kaduna in the story or does he have another strip that the rapture will happen in Kaduna?”