Court Dismisses Lagos Pastor’s No-Case Submission on $1.6m Scam

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Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, dismissed the no-case submission filed by one Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun, a self-acclaimed Lagos-based pastor, who is being prosecuted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, for an alleged $1.6million scam.

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 Oluokun, whose trial began on May 8, 2019, is being prosecuted alongside his company, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on charges bordering on issuance of dud cheques, stealing and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $1.6 million.

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One of the counts reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum of $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) only payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited, which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”

Another count reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos, within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum of $666,666 (Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Dollars only) payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited, which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”

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He pleaded not guilty to the charges, prompting commencement of full trial. 

In the course of the trial, the prosecuting counsel, S.O. Daji, called seven witnesses and tendered several documentary evidences to prove the case of the prosecution before subsequently closing his case.

The defence counsel, E.D. Onyeke, rather than open the case of the defendant, opted to file a no-case submission, arguing that “the prosecution has not made a case against the defendant to warrant him to enter his defence”.

The prosecution, in opposing the application, argued that it had, through its witnesses, shown evidence to the Court warranting the need for the defendant to open his case.

“From the evidence before this Honourable Court, there is a need for the defendant to come and explain his role as he never used the money for the thing he claimed he wanted to use it for,” Daji said.

Both parties had, on March 11, 2022, adopted their written addresses with respect to the no-case submission, with the Court adjourning till April 12, 2022(yesterday) for ruling. 

Ruling on the application, Justice Taiwo noted that after carefully listening to the arguments of both parties as well as the written addresses, the court was convinced that there was need for the defence to open its case.

The Judge held that the defendant, in his statement, admitted issuing the said cheques and also did not deny taking the loan of $1.6 million.

Thereafter, the trial judge dismissed the no-case submission and ordered him to open his defence.

The case has been adjourned till June 10, 2022./SHARE THIS

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