A 45-year-old cleric, Dominion Ayendi, who allegedly defrauded his church member of N700,000, appeared before an Ikeja Magistrate’s Court, yesterday, on a three-count charge.
The police charged Ayendi, a resident of Ekoro Road, Abule Egba, Lagos, with conspiracy, fraud and stealing.
According to the prosecutor, Inspector Clifford Ogu, the pastor defrauded Mr. Godwin Onaja of N700,000 under the false pretences of using the money to execute a contract.
Ogu said: “The accused solicited for the complainant’s assistance, claiming that he secured a contract to be executed in Cross River State, and that he was financially handicapped.
“He collected N700,000 from the complainant with a promise to pay back within three weeks, but did not pay.”
Ogu said that the cleric committed the fraud and theft between November 15 and 20, 2016 at Abule-Egba.
He added that the accused conspired with one Mark Orji to commit the offences.
Ogu said that the offences contravened Sections 285, 312 and 409 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The accused may be jailed for 15 years if found guilty, according to the provisions of Section 312.
The accused pleaded not guilty to the charges and was granted bail in the sum of N150,000 with two sureties in like sum.
The magistrate, Mrs T. Akanni, adjourned the case to January 25 for mention.