A worker in a church, Romanus Oparaugo, shocked the congregation of Christian Pentecostal Mission, CPM , at Ajao Estate, Lagos State, Southwest Nigeria, when he pretended he was praying during a vigil and went to the altar and stole church offering.
Oparaugo, who lives at 14, Wahab Street, Ajao Estate, confessed that he has been doing it since 2005 after he joined and became a worker in the church because he does not receive any allowance from the church as a worker.
He was yesterday sentenced to 12 months imprisonment without an option of fine after he pleaded guilty.
The 35-year old Oparaugo, who hails from Mbaise in Imo state, pretended to be praying and went to the altar and stole N45, 000 in the offering box and hid it in the pocket.
He was, however, apprehended by security men who searched him and recovered the money before handing him over to the police at Ajao station where he confessed to stealing the money.
After he was charged to court, he stunned the presiding magistrate, Mrs. O. M. Ajayi, by confessing that it was not the first time he was stealing offering money.
Oparaugo now in prison custody at Kirikiri, Apapa, said he joined the church in 2005 and since then he has been stealing from the offering box as a means of livelihood.
He also revealed that some church workers also do it.
He pleaded guilty to the two-count charge and pleaded for leniency. The court found him guilty as charged and sentenced him accordingly.
The court ruled that the sentence will run concurrently.
While going to prison, he told P.M.NEWS that he took God’s money and not church’s own.