Pastor arrested over unpaid hotel bills while working for Atiku

Atiku Abubakar

The police have arrested Rev. Eli Dilli of the Lutheran Church of Christ in Nigeria, Jalingo, Taraba State for allegedly absconding with over N500,000 unpaid hotel bills.

The pastor, it was alleged, coordinated a network of Christian pastors in the build up to the 2019 general elections.

Dilli, who is the presiding priest of LCCN Majami’ar Ceto, Jeka da Fari parish, Jalingo, was reportedly working for the Peoples Democratic Party which fielded former Vice President Atiku Abubakar as presidential candidate to emerge victorious and had cause to use one of the hotels in the state capital to boost the electoral chances of the party and its governorship candidate.

Head of the management of Tufini Hotel and Suites James Joshua filed the complaints on which the pastor was arrested on Monday in Adamawa.

Mr Joshua said the clergyman did not respect his priestly calling by refusing to pay the debt accumulated for lodging of several clergies in the facility to the tune of N507,000.

The pastor’s link to the hotel was allegedly established by an influential chieftain of the PDP, but Joshua argued that the agreement was to give the clergy a rebate, while he was expected to settle the bills.

Joshua further claimed that soon after the 2019 elections, Dilli absconded and did not settle the bills, even though the management of the hotel was aware that he had been paid over N4million.

“Eli absconded since 2019 with our bills, even though he started accumulating the debt from November 2018 to April 17, 2019. Since then I have not set my eyes on him,” he said.

But the preacher has denied the allegations, saying he made some payment before leaving the hotel.

He also told reporters that he had a receipt indicating the payment he made, adding that he kept the receipt in his bag, which was in the custody of the hotel.