PASTOR ARRAIGN IN COURT FOR N15M FRAUD

By Okosun Dennis

 

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, on Tuesday, July 13, 2021 arraigned Omosebi Fred Adeola, a pastor before Justice A.O Otaluka of the Federal High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, abuse of office and diversion of funds to the tune of N15,619,000.

Adeola, a Pastor of the Adventist Church and Country Director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency of Nigeria, allegedly diverted the Church’s relief funds for personal use including paying for his PhD programme in Babcock University and illegally enlisted his wife on the Church’s payroll.

Count two of the charge reads “That you OMOSEBI FRED ADEOLA, being an employee and the Country Director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency of Nigeria, and in that capacity entrusted with the funds of the Agency, and being a signatory to the various bank accounts of the Agency, on or about the 13th December, 2017, in Abuja, within the jurisdiction of this Honorable Court, did commit Criminal Breach of Trust by transferring the sum of Seven Million, Seven Hundred and Fourteen Thousand Naira (N7,714,000.00) from the account of Adventist Development and Relief Agency of Nigeria to the account of Ayeni Gbenga Joseph domiciled with Diamond/Access Bank with account number 0078083764, which was cashed and the sum of Two Million, Five Hundred Thousand Naira (N2,500,000) was given to you cash by Ayeni Gbenga Joseph on your instruction, thus converting the said sum of N2,500,000.00 to your own use, and thereby committed an offence contrary to Section 311 of the Penal Code Law, Cap. 532, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria (Abuja), 1990, and punishable under the same Section 312 of the same Law”.

However, the defendant pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

In view of his plea, prosecution counsel Ibrahim Audu asked the court for a trial date and also requested that the defendant be remanded in custody pending trial.

But the defence counsel, E.G Alala notified the court of a pending bail application, and prayed the Court to grant his client bail in the most liberal terms as the defendant is a modest man of God who has honoured all the invitation by the EFCC.

Justice Otaluka granted the defendant bail in the sum of N10m and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be resident in Abuja, have a property worth N10m and provide the address of residence.

They are also required to provide Identity cards, passport photographs and N3m as Bond.

The case was adjourned till September 30, 2021 for trial.

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