By Abdulwahab Abdulah & Jane Echewodo
Failure of prosecution to provide the defence with basic documents in the case involving Prophet Cletus Ilongwo, the General Overseer and Founder of Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry alias Tuesday Tuesday Church, stalled proceedings yesterday.
According to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, prosecutor, Mr. Ahmed Yerima, the accused person was said to have defrauded his victims, knowing full well that he was committing the crime.
The General Overseer was accused of swindling a member of his church of N49.6 million during his initial arraignment, but the latest is that he was re-arraigned on amended information that he stole N128 million from a seasoned banker using his bank account.
‘How he got me’
When the matter resumed yesterday, the former Fidelity Bank staff, Mr. Obinna Ezenwaka, who was a witness to the prosecution, told the court that the suspect’s action threw him out of job.
Identifying the defendant after being sworn on oath by the court, Mr. Ezenwaka narrated: “As at 2016, I was with Fidelity Bank as Head of Marketing, Corporate Banking. I was with Fidelity Bank for five years.
“I have worked with Oceanic Bank Plc. In 2007, Ecobank; Diamond Bank from 2009 to 2011; I was employed in Fidelity Bank till 2017, when I was disengaged.”
Speaking further, Ezenwaka said “Sometimes in 2015, precisely the month of April/May, I was introduced to the church in Abule-Ado. The name of the church is the Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry belonging to Prophet Cletus Ilongwo.
“In that month, I was introduced by one Mrs Ifeoma, who is his sister and was my neighbour.”
Defence interrupts proceedings
At this juncture, defence counsel, Mrs Titilola Akinlawon(SAN), interjected that she had not been availed the witness’ statement in order to cross-examine the suspect.
This halted the proceeding as the trial judge, Justice Sherifat Solebo, aligned with her submission. Hence she adjourned the case till January 15, 2019.
Meanwhile, the defendant was granted bail in the sum of N20 million in a ruling delivered earlier.
Prophet Ilongwo was awarded the temporary reprieve with the bail conditions that he provides three sureties with landed property in Lagos State.
He is also to deposit his visa with the Registrar of the court.