January 6, 2020

Alleged N49.6M fraud: Absence of EFCC witness stalls trial of Lagos prophet


The trial of a Lagos-based prophet, Cletus Ilongwo, charged with N49.6 million fraud in an Ikeja Special Offences Court was on Monday stalled following the absence of an Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) witness.

Mr Nkemruwem Anana, the prosecution counsel, informed the court that the witness, who is an EFCC official travelled for a course.

“My lord, he has not returned from the trip. We had earlier informed the defence counsel that the matter may not likely hold and that we will be seeking an adjournment,” Anana said.

Responding to the submission of the EFCC counsel, the defence counsel, Mrs Titilola Akinlawon, SAN, noted that the EFCC had consistently delayed the trial.

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“The prosecution counsel has failed to file the additional information of the witness as that was the basis for the last adjournment.

“Every adjournment has been at the instance of the prosecution, they have been delaying the matter. I want the court to bear in mind the conduct of the prosecution when this matter is concluded,” Akinlawon said.

Anana, however, denied that the prosecution was delaying the trial and said that he will file required document in court and will also serve the Akinlawon a copy of the document.

Justice Sherifat Solebo adjourned the case until Feb. 6, for continuation of trial.

NAN reports that the defendant is the Founder of Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry a.k.a Tuesday Tuesday Church.

The prophet was arraigned on Nov. 5, 2018, and had pleaded not guilty to an 11-count charge of unlawful conversion of property.

According to the EFCC, Ilongwo committed the offence between January and April 2016.

“Ilongwo collected the funds from one Obinna Ezenwaka on the pretext that he would help purchase a property located 165c, Diamond Estate, Amuwo Odofin.

“He, however, failed to purchase the same property.

“The funds were collected from Ezenwaka through Ilongwo’s Zenith Bank account 1003455899,” Anana said.

Vanguard News Nigeria