February 2, 2023

Pastor fakes own obituary to evade N3m debt payment


By Dayo Johnson, Akure

A cleric, Paul Oyewole, has been arraigned before a Chief Magistrate’s Court in Ondo town, Ondo State, for allegedly publishing and posting his obituary on social media, in order to evade payment of N3 million owed his church member.

The 43-year-old pastor was dragged to court for fraudulently obtaining N3 million from one Boyede Emmanuel, under the pretence to pay back the money within seven days, which he reneged.

Police prosecutor, Akao Moremi, informed the court that “the defendant, allegedly falsely published and posted his obituary on WhatsApp after he had sent a fake alert to a bank account, knowing fully that he did not have such an amount in his bank account.

He was further alleged to have “threatened the complainant on phone, with the intent to intimidate him and also conducted himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace, by stripping himself naked in front of the complainant’s house.”

The police prosecutor said the defendant committed the offence sometime between November 25, 2021 and May 7, 2022, along the Valentino area in Ondo, contrary to and punishable under Sections 419, 86, and 125A(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

The cleric, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges preferred against him.

Moremi, told the court that he would call four witnesses to testify in the case and applied for a date to enable him study the case file.

Counsel to the defendant, Mrs. Queen Arokoyo, applied for the bail of her client in most liberal terms and promised the court that he would not jump bail.

The Presiding Magistrate, Mrs Mosunmola Ikujuni, therefore, granted the defendant N1 million bail with two credible sureties each in like sum.

Ikujuni said one of the sureties must be a house owner, residing within the jurisdiction, while the original and photocopy of the identification card must be attached.

She, thereafter, adjourned the case till February 13, 2023, for a hearing.