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Court Sentences Prophet Ilongwo To 7yrs Imprisonment For Duping Church Member

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court in Lagos has sentenced a Lagos-based prophet, Cletus Ilongwo, to seven years imprisonment for defrauding his church members of N59.7 million.

Ilongwo, the Presiding Pastor of the Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry, was found guilty of seven counts charges bordering on fraud and stealing.

Delivering judgment, Justice Sherifat Solebo ordered the forfeiture of the convict’s property situated at No. 3 Popoola Ajayi St., Diamond Estate in Amuwo Odofin to the complainant.

“His Toyota Prado is also to be forfeited to the Federal Government as restitution to settle the complainant,” Solebo said.

Also Read: Zenith Bank in Alleged Messy N6.5billion Fraud

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) submitted that the convict on Jan. 29, 2016, defrauded a former member of his congregation, one Mr Obinna Ezenwaka.

EFCC counsel, EFCC Counsel, Nwandu Ukoha, told the court that Ilongwo collected the sum in tranches through his Zenith Bank account 1003455899.

Ukoha said that the convict received the amount from Ezenwaka on different occasions in 2016 on the pretext of helping him to purchase a property located at 165c Diamond Estate, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.

The defence counsel, Mr Albert Imolodia, in his allocutus, informed the court that the convict was a first time offender.

Read Also: N7bn Illegal Charges by Zenith Bank: Court Fixes Judgement Day

“He is a family man who has people that rely on him for their survival. We pray the court to temper justice with mercy,” Imolodia said.

The EFCC counsel, however, urged the court to give the convict maximum sentence as required by law and a restitution order in line with the Advance Fee Fraud Act.

The convict was said to have dishonestly converted for his own use the sum of money, being money received through his Zenith Bank account number 1003495899 from the complainant which was meant for the purchase of the property situated at No 165c, Block 12, Diamond Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos

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Top Court News is a product of a dedicated Journalist, owner of I-Wahab Media The Publisher started his Journalism career with Murhi International TV, MiTV in 2003 before working with Radio Nigeria, Lagos Operation, as a Judicial Correspondent. He is presently the Chairman of the National Association of Judicial Correspondent, NAJUC, Ikeja Branch and he is the Vice Chairman of Nigeria Union of Journalist, NUJ, Radio Nigeria Chapel. topcourtnewsng.com is out to serve you with informative and educative News in the Judiciary sector. To put an end to the under reported activities of the sector among the three arms of government

CRIME

N72.5m Theft: Peter Onoja Remand in Prison Pending Bail Application

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court, has remanded a former member of the National Union of Food, Beverage and Tobacco Employees (NUFBTE), Peter Onoja, in a correctional centre for allegedly stealing the sum of N72.5 million from the union.

Onoja is facing a six-count charge bordering on stealing, contrary to Section 287 of the Criminal Laws of Lagos State, 2011.

Justice Mojisola Dada ordered that the defendant be remanded in any correctional facility of his choice pending the filing and hearing of his bail application.

Subsequently the judge adjourned the case until Jan. 24 for the commencement of trial and hearing of bail application.

You May Like To Read: Nigeria Politician Pleads Guilty of $350,763 Wire Fraud In United States

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, counsel, Mrs Anita Imo, alleged that the defendant fraudulently converted the sum of N72.5million, property of NUFBTE to his personal use.

Imo told the court that the defendant committed the offences between February 2015 and August 2020 in Lagos.

The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.

Following his not guilty plea, the prosecution urged the court to remand the defendant in a correctional centre pending the commencement of trial.

Read Also: Oil Marketer, Adeleke Fayose, Remanded in Prison Over Alleged N66.5m Fraud

“In view of the not guilty plea of the defendant, we shall be asking for a trial date and we urge the court that the defendant be remanded, my lord’’, the prosecutor said.

The defence counsel, Mr Paul Okwoi, however, informed the court that the defence counsel could not file his bail application due to an error in it.

He, however, prayed to the court that two dates be granted in December for the defence counsel to file his bail application.

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Dr. Olaleye Remanded in Prison Over Sexual Assault Allegations

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Lagos State Sexual Offences and Domestic Violence Court sitting in Ikeja, has ordered the remand of a Medical Director of of Optimal Cancer Care Foundation, Dr Femi Olaleye, in Ikoyi Correctional Centre pending the fulfillment of his bail conditions.

Dr. Olaleye was charged before the court with a two-count charge of defilement and sexual assault by penetration of his 16 year-old wife’s niece.

He, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge when it was read to him.

His lead counsel, Mr Babatunde Ogala, (SAN), while moving his bail application dated Nov. 24 and filed on 25, prayed to the court to grant the defendant bail on liberal terms.

Mr. Ogala argued that the defendant had cancer patients who looked up to him for his service and would not be productive if remanded in prison.

Also Read: Former Accountant General Arraigned For N109 billion Laundering

He  also urged the court to use its discretion to grant the defendant bail adding that he appeared voluntarily in court after he had been served.

The prosecution team, led by the Director of the Public Prosecution (DPP,) Dr. Babajide Martins, in his counter affidavit dated Nov. 28, argued that the nature of the charge was serious enough  because it attracted life imprisonment.

Dr Martins argued that the complainant was the first wife of the defendant while the nominal complainant was the niece of the wife.

Justice Ramon Oshodi admitted the defendant to fifty million naira bail with two sureties in like sum, following the adoption of bail application by defense and counter affidavits by prosecution.

You May Also Like To Read: Police Arraigns Estranged Lover For Allegedly Kidnapping Ex-girlfriend

The judge ruled that the sureties must have landed properties in Lagos and the original documents of the properties must be submitted to the chief registrar of the court.

He also said that the defendant must submit his British, Nigerian and other international passports in his possession to the chief registrar of the court.

The judge further ordered the court audile to verify the residential addresses of the sureties.

Subsequently, the matter was adjourned till December 19, for commencement of trial.

 

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Justice Sherifat Solebo Exits Judicial Service With Glowing Tributes

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Leading and prominent figures in the legal circle across the country have continued to pay glowing tributes to Justice Sherifat Solebo, a Senior Lagos State High Court Judge, who retired after 20years of meritorious judicial service to the state and the county at large.

The tribute session, which was part of events marking her retirement from service at Ikeja, Lagos, was led by the State Chief Judge, Justice Kazeem Alogba, followed by the State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN; Senior Advocates of Nigeria, SANs; members of the Nigerian Bar Association, as well as Senior Court Officials and traditional rulers.

In his tribute, Justice Alogba said on behalf of the state government he was pleased to join his accolade to the many tributes of his colleagues, while acknowledging, Justice Solebo’s many achievements.

The Chief Judge noted that Justice Solebo had dealt with and had ruled on many difficult and complex cases in areas of law, including, criminal law, land disputes, family and child’s care actions, as well as constitutional law.

On his part, the State Attorney-General, Moyosore Onigbanjo, SAN, described the journey of Justice Solebo, as depicting what can be achieved with perseverance, dedication and faith in God.

Read Also: Lagos High Court Holds Valedictory Session in Honour of Chief Babatunde Benson

The SAN emphasised that Justice Solebo being a Muslim has been forthright and fearless in discharging her duties as a Judge, knowing fully well that all her deeds on earth would be accounted for before the Almighty Allah.

Also contributing, the Coordinator, West African Regional Center for Law and Religious Studies, Faculty of Law, University of Lagos, Unilag, Prof Akin Ibidapo-Obe, noted that the Judge unheralded intellectual interventions on various fora such as the Nigerian Bar Association, NBA; the Universities, the Civil Society Organization has made her leadership reputation as an incisive.

Prof. Ibidapo-Obe stressed that her outstanding contributions to Law and Religious Studies led to her induction as a member of the West African Judicial Expert Group on Law and Religious Studies, WAJEX – an elite body of Jurists across the West African region.

Delivering a sermon at the event, an Islamic scholar and legal practitioner, Basheer Shittu enjoined all faithfuls to make gratitudes the fulcrum of their supplications to increase their blessings from Allah as well as admittance to Jannat Adnin.

Hon. Justice Sherifat Solebo graduated from the University of Lagos with LL.B in 1995 and was thereafter called to the Nigerian Bar in 1996. She later returned to the University of Lagos for her LL.M.

Also Read: Sanwo-olu Commissioner Bags Attorney General of The Year Award

She went into private practice under the tutelage of Kunle Tuyo Esq. before joining the Lagos State Judiciary as a Magistrate in 1999 and rose through the ranks to the position of the Chief Magistrate/Deputy Chief Registrar (Special Duties) before her appointment as a Judge in 2017.

During her magisterial career, Hon. Justice Solebo served meritoriously in different capacities.

ln 2002, Hon. Justice Sherifat Solebo was appointed into the UNICEF Advocacy Group and was appointed as a Local Land Expert by the World Bank from 2008 to 2009. She was the Coroner for Mushin District between 2012 and 2014 and served as a member of the Local Government Election Petitions Tribunal in 2012.

Hon. Justice Solebo is a Fellow of the Commonwealth Judicial Education Institute, Canada. She has been privileged to attend several trainings, courses, workshops, conferences and seminars at the National Judicial Institute (Abuja), National Judicial College (Reno, Nevada, United States of America), Royal Institute of Public Administration (London, United Kingdom), the 36th and 39th Symposia on Economic & Financial Crimes at Jesus College, University of Cambridge (Cambridge, United Kingdom).

Click To Read: Justice of Supreme Court Task Judicial Officers To Be Upright

She had over the years been trained by UNICEF on Children’s Rights and Protection and by other similar organisations like National Conference on Juvenile Justice In Las Vegas, where she is also a member.

She is a member of the Chartered Institute of Mediators and Conciliators, and an active member of the Lagos State Domestic and Sexual Violence Response Agency. She was a member of various committees, such as, (i) the 2019 High Court of Lagos state (Civil Procedure Rules) Review Committee; (ii) the Probate Review Committee; and (iii) the Administration of Criminal Justice Law of Lagos State Review Committee. Additionally, up until 2021, she has contributed to the World Bank’s research on ‘Doing Business in Nigeria’ with a particular focus on the business environment in Lagos State. She worked with Prof. Carolyn Hamilton on the 2019 Family Court (Civil Procedure) Rules.

Hon. Justice Solebo has amassed over 20years experience in presiding over Civil, Criminal, Land and Family disputes in Court.

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