Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has convicted and sentenced a pastor, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun, to two years in prison.
The assistant pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish, Victoria Island, was jailed on Tuesday, September 21, 2022.
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.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, in her judgment, held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charge of issuance of a dud cheque against the defendants.
Taiwo, however, discharged and acquitted the defendants of stealing and obtaining money under false pretences.
“The defendant issued two cheques in the sum of 1.6 million dollars to the nominal complainant, which was dishonoured because there was no fund in the defendant’s account. Issuance of a cheque for lack of credit is a strictly liable offence,” said Taiwo.
“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,”
The judge said 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.
“The defendants, however, are discharged and acquitted of stealing and obtaining money under false pretences as the prosecution failed to establish the facts against them,” she said.
The judge thereafter sentenced the first defendant to two years in prison or payment of a fine of N2 million, and the second defendant to a fine of N2 million.
She ordered the convict to make restitution of 1.6 million dollars to the nominal complainant within 18 months.