An Ikeja Special Offences Court has sentenced an assistant Pastor of the Redeem Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish, Victoria Island, Lagos, Ayodeji Oluokun, to two years imprisonment for issuance of N$1.6 million dud cheque.
Oluokun was charged alongside his company, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Ltd, on an amended six-count charge bordering on issuance of dud cheque, stealing and obtaining money under false pretences.
Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo in her judgment, held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charge of issuance of dud cheque against the defendants.
The judge however, discharged and acquitted the defendants of stealing and obtaining money under false pretences.
According to the judge, the prosecutor failed to establish stealing and obtaining money under false pretences.
The judge thereafter sentenced Oluokun to two years imprisonment or pay a fine of two million naira and his company to also pay a fine of two million naira.
She ordered the convict to make restitution of $1.6 million to the nominal complainant within 18 months.
Earlier before sentencing the convict, Oluokun, EFCC Counsel, Mr Samuel Daji, urged the court to convict the defendants as charged, arguing that the convict and the nominal complainant had not been on talking term, thereby making the terms of restitution difficult to meet.
He also prayed to the court to order the defendant to forfeit his property in order to pay up the debt.
In a counter reaction, defence counsel, Mr Edoka Onyeke, prayed to the court to grant the convict a non custodian sentence, adding that he was a pastor and could use his pastoral work as service to humanity, through community service.
“My lord, apart from the defendants being a first offender, if he is incacerated, he will not be able to carry out the necessary things on behalf of the second defendant so as to make the restitution easy.
“The first defendant is a pastor of a church. This is a very good opportunity for him to engage in community service instead of a custodian sentence so as to preach the words of God.