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Friday, December 2, 2022

Lagos pastor sentenced to two years in jail for issuing fake $1.6 million cheque

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, convicted and sentenced pastor Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun to two years in prison.

The self-proclaimed Lagos pastor was prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged $1.6 million scam.

“Oluokun’s conviction came, consequent on his arraignment by the Lagos Zonal Command of the… EFCC, alongside his company, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on an amended six-count charge bordering on issuance of dud cheques, stealing and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $1.6 million on January 19, 2019,” Nigeria’s EFCC said last week.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, in April, dismissed the no-case submission filed by one Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun.

According to the EFCC statement, which was published on its website last Tuesday, he had pleaded not guilty to the charges, thereby leading to his full trial.

During the trial, prosecuting counsel SO Daji presented six witnesses through whom several documentary evidences were tendered against him.

After the prosecution had closed its case, Oluokun, through his counsel, ED Onyeke, filed a no-case submission, urging the court to hold that the prosecution did not prove the charges against him.

The no-case submission was, however, dismissed by Justice Taiwo, who ordered him to open his defence. Consequently, Oluokun took to the dock to defend himself.

Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Justice Taiwo held that the prosecution successfully proved the case of the issuance of dud cheques against the defendant.

“The defendant issued two cheques in the sum of $1.6 million (about R29m) to the nominal complainant, which was dishonoured because there was no fund in the defendant’s account.

“Issuance of cheque for lack of credit is a strict liable offence. If the defendant was truly expecting some money till the end of July 2014, as claimed by him, he would have waited till he received the money before issuing the cheque on June 24, 2014.

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“The first defendant knew all of these and still went ahead to issue the cheque dated June 24, 2014.

“It is hereby in the view of this court that the defendant was deliberate in issuing the dud cheque. He is hereby found guilty of counts one and two of issuance of dud cheque”, he said.

The judge sentenced him to two years in prison, with an option of fine of two million Nigerian naira (about R83 000). The company was also fined N2 million.

He also ordered him to restitute $1.6m to the petitioner within 18 months.

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