FOLLOWING the report on how ‘How pastor who charges N310,000, keeps dozens of Nigerians in church in preparation for ‘rapture’, additional information has emerged alleging that the pastor – Noah Abraham – divorced his wife and ‘snatched’ his choirmaster’s wife.
The ICIR’s Senior Investigative Reporter Marcus Fatunmole and Cameraman Fatunbi Johnson were at Kabba on May 5 and 6 to speak with major parties to the incidents.
Read the first part here.
- Abraham fled from Kabba town in Kogi State, where he had run his church, to Araromi-Ugbesi, near Omuo-Oke in Ekiti State to start a new church after the Kabba community had banished him for committing ‘sacrilege.’
- The community said Abraham offered another woman to the choirmaster to replace the one ‘snatched’.
- Abrahams’s wife claims her husband’s newfound love was behind the crisis.
- The choirmaster, church members and leaders of Kabba town insist Abraham was covetous, high-handed and operated what they described as a strange ministry.
- Abraham’s choirmaster, Dare Ikuenayo, said his life is in ruins since the self-professed cleric fled to Omuo-Oke with the singer’s wife in August 2021.
- Abraham also went with Ikuenayo’s three children and his own four children.
Abraham’s wife, Mary, the choirmaster and two monarchs in Kabba spoke exclusively with The ICIR over the crisis.
When the reporter met the 53-three-year old Mary, coincidentally she wore the same cloth her husband was clad in when the reporter met him in his Ekiti church a week before meeting his wife.
In Nigeria, it is common practice for a husband and wife to buy the same clothes or materials to sew so that they can have wear matching outfits often to social events.
Abraham is the founder of the Christ High Commission, whose news about charging N310,000 for the rapture, otherwise known as the second coming of Jesus Christ, has gone viral.
The ICIR exclusively obtained video recordings of the church where he camped about 40 people waiting for the rapture.
Although the members in his church in Ekiti did not speak, the ones in Kabba spoke to The ICIR while alleging that he has severally issued death threats to people who wanted to quit his church because of his activities.
The two families and their marriages
Abraham and his wife were married for 31 years, and they had five children, but one had died long before their marriage hit the rocks.
His alleged mistress already had four children for her husband before quitting her home.
Her family, just like Abraham’s also lost one of their children, a boy while they were members of the church in Kabba.
According to Mary, the boy’s death made the woman get very close to the pastor.
Abraham’s alleged mistress had a church wedding with her husband, Ikuenayo, the choirmaster.
Abraham told the choirmaster to end his marriage with his wife because he said God told him He ordained the woman for him, Ikuenayo, Kabba monarchs and some church members claimed.
“She later changed her name from Bose to Anabel, and she bleached her skin from a dark woman to a fair person,” Ikuenayo the choirmaster said of his estranged wife, who is now fair-complexioned like Abraham.
Many pictures of the woman The ICIR crew saw showed that Anabel had been a dark person. The pastor’s wife also confirmed it.
Anabel, the choirmaster and Mary Abraham are indigenes of Kabba.
Abraham had parted with his wife and lived with Anabel before the town banished him.
His wife said he denied her access to her children, including the family’s only girl, a person with disabilities, while Anabel brought all her children to live with him.
The choirmaster also said his life had been in ruins since his wife eloped with Abraham. He explained that Anabel took him to court to claim the custody of their children. He didn’t fight back because he left everything to God, hoping God would help his family return home.
Two options for Abraham before Kabba leaders banished him
Before banishing Abraham, Kabba leaders had given him two options: to return Anabel to her husband or leave the town if he failed to do so. He chose her. The community consequently expelled him from Kabba and its environs.
Abraham pulled down his church building before leaving the town. People have since been using the land for farming.
In August of that year, Abraham returned to his home town in Omuo-Ekiti to begin a new church with Anabel.
He charges members N310,000 “to prepare them for rapture at the church.
He assembles dozens of people from different parts of the country at the church.
Some of the members allegedly sold their houses, cars and other belongings to raise the money. They will live with him as long as he wants them to stay, he had told The ICIR.
The members comprise adults, teenagers, university students, business people and children.
How Abraham and Anabel had lied about their relationship
The ICIR reporter had visited Abraham in his church, located at Araromi-Ugbesi, near Omuo-Oke, on 27 April.
He had claimed Anabel was his daughter. Anabel also backed him up by confirming she is his daughter.
People around the church who spoke with the reporter also questioned Abraham’s relationship with the woman.
The reporter interviewed six neighbours who said the relationship between them was more than familial because of the manner they moved together in the town.
Controversy over who ‘snatched’ whose spouse
While Mary claimed Anabel bewitched her husband and turned his heart from her, Anabel’s husband said the pastor coveted his wife and succeeded in seizing her.
Mary notes that Abraham was a loving husband before Anabel came into the picture, “That man is a man every woman will love to have as a husband. He loved me. He cared for me. He is a caring man”.
According to her, he was loving and responsible when they were poor, and when fortunes smiled at them, he had his eyes for her and her alone, this was until Anabel became a church member.
She said Anabel began “her evil plans” by giving false prophecies and telling fake visions in the church.
But Anabel’s husband the choirmaster was of a different view. He insisted the pastor coveted his wife and ended up ‘snatching’ her.
At least seven of the church members, neighbours and two leaders in Kabba interviewed by The ICIR said Abraham lusted after the woman.
Who is Abraham to the people in Kabba?
The ICIR’s interviewed many people in Kabba, including Abraham’s wife. They described him as a brilliant man with good problem-solving skills that could get his way out of any problem.
He was destitute when he came to the town. Working with his wife, he started his life in the community as a farmer.
His wife said her family supported him in paying his house rent because he could not afford it.
From farming, Abraham moved to selling electrical appliances.
They described him as very skilled as he could dismantle any engine, including cars and couple them back.
He was also said to have built his church alone and was remodelling the house he bought before he was asked to leave the community.
“He can start any house from the scratch, roof it, put the electrical appliances and do the plumbing without any assistance. He did not learn any of those things,” one of his church members, Oliver Eze, said.
“We don’t know how he got those skills. He can do many things. He is too smart, and he can manipulate anything,” he explained
My life with my husband – Mary
The pastor’s wife worked as a teacher to support her husband and run her family when he had nothing. She narrated how they lived as paupers. They had lived in Kaduna town before coming to Kabba, where they eventually started the church.
Narrating the level of poverty her family faced, she said she could not get food to eat for three days after giving birth to her first child, and she collapsed because due to no strength.
She lost one of her children when he was ten years because her family did not have the money to care for him.
She said her husband’s mistress was a devil who came to destroy her family’s ministry.
She said some people in her neighbourhood told her the woman had been going about from one church to another, committing atrocities. “They said she used to give false prophecies. I immediately called my husband, who urged me to be careful with the woman.”
“One day, she called me; she said she was having a problem with her husband. The husband wanted to send her packing. I said no, it could not be possible. My husband said any woman that wants to stay in the church must be submissive to her husband. He said if I talked to the woman and she refused to listen to me, I should allow the husband to deal with her.”
“I called the church’s elder, and we settled the matter with her and the husband. She kept thanking me. I didn’t know she was targeting my home.”
A few days later, Mary said the woman told her that her child was sick.
The pastor’s wife advised her to take the boy to the hospital, but the woman refused.
She later brought the child to the church, where he later died. She said her husband (the pastor) agreed with the mother to leave the child in the church.
The boy’s death made Mary bring the woman to her home because she cried for many days.
May said “I gave her a room. Her husband and three children were there eating three times a day. I called her on the third day after the church’s service that she would return home. I didn’t know she had gone to tell some people that there was too much enjoyment in my house. She said she didn’t know that a man could care for someone the way my husband cared for my children and me.”
She said the Anabel kept coming to the house against her wish, but Abaraham allowed her.
The woman later changed her husband’s heart against her, she claimed.
Eventually, her husband sent her out of the home and brought in the Anabel.
He also ordered her children never to relate with her. According to her, she had not had access to any of her children since the woman came.
She said her children always refused to pick up her calls.
“This woman has charmed my children. She has charmed my husband. None of them could recognise me again. This woman has four children. I have five children. My husband forgets about me and has been living with her.”
She added: “When my husband was still himself, he would not collect anything from a woman who bleached her skin. He would challenge people who bleached their skins on why they did so. This woman bleached herself, and she has been living with my husband.”
She alleged that the woman was after three things in her family: to separate her from her husband, stop her children from going to school, and kill her husband.
“My first son is serving in Enugu State. I learnt that he has recalled the boy from service. My second child is at FUTA; he withdrew the child. My third born is in a school for persons with disabilities in Oyo State. He has withdrawn the girl from school. The last one is preparing to go to FUTA. I don’t know anything about that one again.”
Mary sobbed repeatedly as she spoke with The ICIR. She now lives with her elder sister, Felicia Oloniyo, in Kabba.
Oloniyo said she had been praying to God to deliver her sister.
She said her sister’s husband brought her to live with her in 2021 before leaving for Ekiti.
She said their aged mother had been disturbed over the crisis.
Read the next part here.