Justice Sherifat Solebo of an Ikeja Special Offences Court, has fixed June 16, 2022, to deliver judgement in an alleged N59.7m fraud case preferred against Lagos-based prophet, Cletus Ilongwo.
Ilongwo, the Presiding Pastor of the Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry, is facing 11 counts bordering on fraud and stealing.
He was arraigned by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for allegedly defrauding a former member of his congregation, Obinna Ezenwaka of the said sum.
The anti-graft agency had alleged that the prophet received the said 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.
According to the EFCC, Ilongwo collected the sum in tranches through his Zenith Bank account 1003455899.
The charges reads in part, “That you, Cletus Ilongwo, on January 29, 2016, at Lagos, within the Ikeja Juridical Division, dishonestly converted for your own use the sum of N10m, being money received through your Zenith Bank account number 1003495899 from Obinna Ezenwaka meant for the purchase of the property situated at No 165c, Block 12, Diamond Estate, Amuwo-Odofin, Lagos.”
The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charges.
At the resume of the matter, the defence counsel, Titilayo Akinlawon (SAN), informed the court that the former prosecuting counsel, Nkereuwem Anana from the office of EFCC who has been transferred to Uyo had filed an amended charge in which she has also filed a notice of preliminary objection.
She said that the record of the court is clear on the business of the court today, saying the court adjourned specifically for judgement today.
She noted that the prosecution had amended the charge for five time since the commencement of the trial and the defence is fully prepared for the judgement today.
In response, the prosecuting counsel, Nwandu Ukoha acknowledged that there was indeed an amended charge but he inherited the case upon his transfer to Lagos.
He confirmed receiving the preliminary objection motion of the defence counsel, but thereafter, prayed the court for the withdrawal of the amended charge so that the court can go ahead with judgement.