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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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Court Rejects Baba Ijesha Post Conviction Bail Pending Appeal

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court has refused the bail application filed by the convicted Nollywood actor, James Olarewaju, alias, Baba Ijesha pending the determination of his appeal at the Court of Appeal.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo who presided over the matter, rejected the bail application on the ground that he did not meet exceptional circumstances and criteria to warrant the bail.

The judge noted that the applicant must show special and exceptional circumstances because the term given to him is 5 years which is to run concurrently.

Also the judge said that there is no evidence that the appeal has been entered and there is no indication before this court that the court will not treat the case expeditiously.

Click To Read: Alleged Serial Fraudster Abayomi Kamaldeen Alaka Trial Stalls

The embattled actor is   seeking a bail for an appeal for the  five years conviction of sexually assaulting a 14-year- old girl.

Baba Ijesha’s counsel, Prince Gabriel Olabiran had on Aug.10 for informed the court of a notice for bail pending appeal has been submitted  in pursuant to Section 6 (6) of the 1999 Constitution as amended and Section 51 of the High Court law of Lagos State, administration of criminal justice law.

Olabiran argued that the application admitted the applicant to bail, either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions.

He said the application was brought before the court  due to difficulty in getting a date at the Court of Appeal.

You May Also Like To Read: Pupil Care: Judge Task Private School Managers To Justify Their Pay

The state prosecutor, Mr Yusuf Sule, however, in a counter affidavit dated Aug.18, argued that the defence failed in its address to establish the special circumstances which might grant the convict bail.

The court had on July 14 sentenced the embattled actor to five-years imprisonment for sexually assaulting a 14-year-old girl.

The court held that the prosecution had successfully proven the charge of sexual assault of a minor and indecent treatment of a minor against the convict.

The judge, however, discharged and acquitted him of count one and six which were sexual assault by penetration which  took place in  2014 and attempted sexual assault by penetration, which took place in 2021.

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Baba Ijesha knows Fate on Post Bail App, September 19

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Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court, Ikeja, Lagos State, has adjourned the ruling on post bail application for Olanrewaju James, also known as Baba Ijesha, till Monday, September 19, 2022.

This follows the arguments of both prosecuting and defense counsels on whether the convict has met special circumstances for court to grant him post conviction bail

This is coming after two months, that the Special Offences Court, sentenced him to a five year concurrent jail term, which his legal team is in court to appeal that judgement.

At the hearing, Chukwudi Adiukwu, one of the defense counsels for the convict, says the team brought notice for bail pending appeal in pursuant to section 6 (6) of the 1999 constitution as amended, and 51 of the high court law of Lagos State, administration of criminal justice law, admitting the applicant to bail, either unconditionally or upon reasonable conditions.

Read Also: Court Convicts Internet Fraudster OBI Over N16m Fraud

Highlighting the special circumstances, Adiukwu explains that the application is taken before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, as getting date at the court of appeal might be difficult, considering the number of cases before the court.

He also stated that with the prison month calendar, the convict would have served his five years concurrent jail term within 3 years and 6 months, before the hearing might take place at the appeal court.

He added that, baba ijesha was of good conduct before the court during his trial, and was never absent till the judgement.

Also Read: lagos Lagos CJ Commences Disciplinary Measures Against Exposed Erring Judicial Officials

He therefore, urged the court to consider the special circumstances, at granting bail to the convict.

In a counter reaction, the state prosecuting counsel, Mrs Omowunmi Bajulaye-Bishi says the defense counsels in their address failed to establish the special circumstances which may grant him bail.

She urged court to dismiss the application for lack of merit.

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