Church Accountant Bags 18 Years for N15.5m Fraud – PRNigeria News

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Church Accountant Bags 18 Years for N15.5m Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Gombe Zonal Office on January 13, 2020, secured the conviction of one Ibrahim Aku before Justice Nathan Musa of the Adamawa State High Court.

Aku, an accountant at EYN Church of Christ (Ekilisiyar Yen Uwa Nigeria), EYN, Church of Brethren in Nigeria (CBN) in the state faced a six-count charge, bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretence.

He was investigated and prosecuted following a petition by the church through Rev. (Dr). Daniel Mbaya an Secretary General of the Church alleging that Aku defrauded the church of N15.5million between 2016 and 2018.

Investigations by the EFCC, revealed that the money was generated by the church members by offerings, donations and tithe.

The convict was entrusted by the church to deposit the church’s revenue into the church’s account with First Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, but he ended up diverting same, and forged bank tellers to balance the financial books of the church.

He was assisted to commit the crime by his friend, one Benefit Ishaku currently at large to whom he gave N500,000. His accomplice assisted him in forging the stamps of the banks, which were also used to perpetrate the fraud.

He was prosecuted using the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

He pleaded “guilty” to the charges.

Prosecuting counsel, S.E. Okemini, thereafter, urged the court to convict him as charged.

Justice Musa, thus, pronounced him guilty and sentenced him to 18 years in prison – three years on each of the counts, to run concurrently. He was not given an option of fine.

The trial judge, further ordered that he refund the stolen fund to the church, and that proceeds of the crime recovered from him should be sold and the proceeds remitted to the Church.

Tony Orilade
Acting Head, Media & Publicity
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EFCC Nabs Internet Fraudsters in Ibadan

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC Ibadan zonal office, between January 11 and 12, 2020, arrested eight suspected internet fraudsters in Ibadan, the Oyo State capital.
The suspects, who are between the ages of 17 and 30 years old, were arrested at different locations across the ancient city. They are Abdulrahman Qozeem, Umoru Ibrahim, Umoru Abdulahi Gregory, Famous Ose Itahma, Umoru Shaibu Pedro, Durrele Oyeniyi, Umoru Evidence and Judge Okoye.

Their arrest was sequel to series of intelligence report, alleging that they were involved in internet-related crimes.

Items recovered from them include six expensive cars, various brands of phones, laptops, international passports and several documents suspected to contain false pretences.
They will soon be arraigned in court.

Tony Orilade
Acting Head, Media & Publicity

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Winners’ Pastor Arraigned For Stealing Church’s $90,000, N4.5m

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A pastor of the Living Faith Church (Winners’ Chapel), Afolabi Samuel, was on Monday arraigned by the for allegedly stealing $90,000 and N4.5m belonging to the registered trustees of the church.

The winners chapel pastor who is an accountant and the church’s treasurer was arraigned before the Lagos State Special Offences Court on two counts of conspiracy and stealing.

According to a report Samuel and one Blessing Kolawole, an employee of the Covenant University, who is currently at large, conspired to steal the money and convert it for personal use.

In the petition to the EFCC dated June 26, 2019, and signed by Chioma Okwuanyi and Co, legal practitioners, Samuel, who was employed in the account department of the church to maintain proper records of funds, allegedly connived with Kolawole and others to take advantage of their position as the church’s treasurer and worker at the university, respectively.

The petition read in part, “The duo started carrying out various acts of breach of trust and fraudulent commission of unconscionable economic crime and sabotage by unlawfully diverting to their private use the church’s money in Pastor Samuel’s custody without the permission of the church.”

“The duo continued doing so until sometime in December 2018 when they ran out of luck and all their secret acts of economic sabotage and financial crime of fraudulently tampering with the church’s money were revealed.”

“When confronted by the church, Pastor Samuel, who lives around the church on Raji Oba Street, Akowonjo, Lagos, admitted to committing the act and even voluntarily made a written confession where he detailed how they had been stealing from the church.”

The EFCC prosecutor, S. O. Daji, said Samuel committed the offences sometime on September 24 and December 31, 2018, in Lagos.

According to him, the offences contravene sections 278, 285 and 490 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State No. 11, 2011.

The winners chapel pastor was remanded at the Kirikiri Correctional Centre by the presiding judge, Justice Mojisola Dada, and the case was adjourned till December 10, 2019, for the hearing of the bail application.

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