Wednesday, 13 April 2022

EFCC Drags RCCG Pastor To Court Over $1.6m 'Fraud'


 

An Ikeja Special Offences Court on Tuesday dismissed a no-case- submission filed by a pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), Ayodeji Oluokun, standing trial for alleged issuance of dud cheques of $1.6 million.


The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the judge, Oluwatoyin Taiwo, in her ruling, held that the prosecution had established a sufficient prima facie case against the defendant.


“After carefully considering the submissions of the prosecution and the defence, the court at this stage is not to review the evidence of the prosecution but to see whether the prosecution has put enough evidence before the court to warrant the defendant to defend his case.


“The prosecution called seven witnesses and tendered several documents. The evidence of the prosecution shows that the prosecution has sufficiently proven a prima facie case against the defendant.


“I hereby dismiss the application of the defence and order that the defendant to open his defence,” Taiwo ruled.


NAN reports that at the last proceedings, the defence counsel, Edoka Onyeke, had argued that the prosecution failed to establish a prima facie case against the defendant.


He had, therefore, asked the court to dismiss the charge against his client.


However, Samuel Daaji, counsel to the Economic and Financial Commission (EFCC), had asked the court to determine whether the evidence adduced by the prosecution sufficiently linked the defendant to the offences to warrant him to be called upon to open his defence.


NAN reports that the prosecution had closed its case in October 2021 after calling the seventh witness.


The EFCC had charged the defendant, an oil marketer and an assistant pastor of RCCG, City of David Parish, Victoria Island, Lagos, alongside his oil firm, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Ltd, before the court.


The defendant and his company were first arraigned before the court on January 21, 2019, on a six-count amended charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, stealing and issuance of dud cheques.


The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charge and was admitted to bail.




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