…As Painter gets remanded in Kirikiri, for allegedly robbing woman of N1.4m***
Yola High Court on Monday sentenced the Accountant of the Church of Brethren in Nigeria, Ibrahim Aku, to 18 years in prison for defrauding the church of N15.5 million naira.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, (EFCC) accused Aku of defrauding the church of N15.5 million between 2016 and 2018.
The money, the EFCC said, was generated by the church members through offerings, donations and tithes.
Delivering judgment, Justice Nathan Musa, convicted on six counts, bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretense.
Justice Musa sentenced Aku without an option of fine.
The judge also ordered the convict to pay back the money as restitution to the church.
He equally ordered that the proceeds of the crime recovered in the course of investigation be sold by appointing valuers to sale and remit same to the church.
Repentant Aku, pleaded guilty to all the six counts charge.
Speaking shortly after the verdict, Mr Bello Bajoga, the Public Affairs Department of EFCC, said the judgment was “on course”.
“The convict was entrusted with church money and he ended up diverting the money and forged tellers and presented same as genuine, to serve as evidence of payment of the remittance,” Bajoga said.
In another development, an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court on Monday remanded a 24-year-old painter, Michael Okafor, in Kirikiri Custodial Centre for allegedly robbing a woman of her bag containing valuables worth N1.4 million at gunpoint.
The Magistrate, Mrs O.A Aderibigbe, who did not take the plea of the defendant, ordered that the case file be returned to the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for legal advice.
Aderibigbe adjourned the case till Feb. 2 for mention.
The defendant, whose address was not provided, is being tried for conspiracy, robbery and stealing.
The Prosecutor, Insp. Mojirade Edeme, told the court that Okafor and others yet to be apprehended, committed the offence on Nov. 19 at Alausa, Ikeja.
She said that they robbed one Mrs Joy Ameh of her valuables.
“The defendant stole two Samsung android phones valued at N180, 000, jewelries worth N500,000 and N700,000 cash, totaling N1.38 million.
“Four international passports were also stolen from the complainant,”she said.
Edeme said that the defendant and his accomplices accosted the complainant when she alighted from a car, pointed a gun at her and ordered her to surrender her bag.
“The defendant and his friends commanded the complainant to give them her bag or get killed.
“She quickly handed over her bag to them and they all took to their heels.
“The complainant reported the case to the police, one of the phones was tracked, leading to the arrest of the defendant,” she said.
According to the prosecutor, the offence violated sections 287, 297 and 411 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015.
Section 287 attract three years’ imprisonment for stealing, while section 297 prescribe 21 years for armed robbery.