Islam

Undercover report exposes fraudulent cleric in Lagos Mosque

An investigation conducted by Nigerian investigative journalist and founder of the Foundation for Investigative Journalism, Fisayo Soyombo, has exposed some fraudulent activities carried out by some Islamic clerics in Lagos State.

As obtained via a video shared on FIJ, Soyombo had visited the Oriwu Central Mosque, Ikorodu, Lagos where he narrated his encounter with the mosque cleric who was identified as ” Alfa Ibadan”.

Soyombo who had gone in the guise of a homosexual seeking spiritual deliverance was directed by the cleric to pay the sum of N125,000 from which two rams will be purchased.

“Alfa Ibadan says he will “start work right away” and asked to be paid N40,000, with which he will do some ‘work’ for me. And we will buy a ram, a white one.

“He says we may buy it ourselves and bring it to him, or we may hand him the responsibility. We choose the latter. He tells us the ram will cost N80,000. Then we will buy a sponge, black soap, shea butter, seven yards of white cloth, a sachet of palm oil, some salt and sugar; these will cost N5,000. That’s a total of N125,000,” he added.

Soyombo also revealed that the cleric told him that his problem is from his father’s family and that they are against him because he is destined to have a good life ahead of him.

“You see this man,” he said, pointing at me, “he has a big star. But you see the family he hails from, they despise him. All his problems are from his father’s family.”

The cleric also explained that rams would be used to appease the spiritual realm so that his problem will be solved.

Alfa Ibadan explained that the ram he mentioned “is a ram of sacrifice”. “Once we kill it and share the meat with the elders and they eat it, you have excelled,” he said. “The harm they want to inflict on you is to take your life.”

He also added that the cleric enjoined him to add more to what he has already paid because of the weight of the work which he(the Cleric) has done to help him (Soyombo).

“This ‘work’ you want me to do for you, I know how much I should bill you for it. But I don’t like to bill; when your prayers have been answered, you can give me whatever you want.” Soyombo said.

Furthermore, Soyombo disclosed that the cleric had told him that his transformation from being gay to straight would happen within 21 days.

“Alfa Ibadan had initially told my advance team that reconfiguring me from gay to straight would happen over a 21-day spiritual exercise, but seeing we are not averse to coughing up N125,000, he makes a sudden about-face.”

He also alleged that he was told to have a ritual bath among other requirements. As narrated by Soyombo, the cleric during the course of the meeting made several other untrue claims about him and his family.

He also revealed that the cleric made further attempts to get more funds from him, one of which was that the sacrificial lamb ram killed on his behalf was not accepted as there were no elders in Lagos to eat them.

“…As of the previous day, the agreement with Alfa Ibadan was for the ram to be slaughtered at the mosque on Sunday and distributed to all the elders. But seeing our interest in witnessing the killing of the ram, he makes an about-face on Sunday.

“There are no elders here in Lagos,” he says quite astonishingly. “It’s in Ibadan that there are elders, and that’s where we will kill it.”

“My guide and I shock him when we reveal our preparedness to embark on the trip to Ibadan with him. Reluctantly, he agrees to meet up with us at 5:30am the following day, Monday, March 21, for the journey to Ibadan. He warns us sternly, though, that we are barred from witnessing the sharing of the ram; our access ends just with the killing.” he narrated.

He also added that before the sacrificial lamb was slaughtered in Lagos, the cleric made further attempts to charge them.

“The ram was more expensive than we thought,” he says. “Those who bought it added an extra N5,000. They spent N1,000 on transportation, too.”

“We will have to buy gas, too, because we cannot use kerosene,” he says, and that costs N5,000.” He stated.

“Once we agree to all these terms, three able-bodied men join Alfa Ibadan in pinning down the ram. In a matter of minutes, blood gushes all over the unpaved area between Alfa Ibadan’s house and the next. As it happened way back in Ikorodu, we ask him for directions to the nearest ATM so we can pay him the N155,000 for the water sacrifice and the N17,500 additional ram costs, and he obliges.

“But rather than drive towards the ATM, we head to a nearby ram market where we price rams exactly the size of the one he slaughtered. To our surprise, we find that traders are willing to give us N30,000 — the same size of ram he received N80,000 for only to claim it costs N85,000. From there we return to Lagos after blocking Alfa Ibadan’s line, never to be able to reach us again, much less ascertain the status of his N172,500 windfall,” he narrated.

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