Admin l Wednesday, June 08, 2022
IKEJA, Lagos, Nigeria – A Special Offences Court, sitting in Ikeja, Lagos has fixed June 16th for judgment in alleged N59.7 million fraud brought against Presiding Pastor of the Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry, Prophet Cletus Ilongwo .
Prophet Cletus is facing an 11 counts bordering on fraud and stealing brought against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC. He is alleged to have defrauded a former member of his congregation, Obinna Ezenwaka of the sum of N59.7m, under pretext of helping him to purchase a property located at 165c Diamond Estate, Amuwo Odofin, Lagos.
According to the EFCC, Ilongwo collected the money 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 judgment 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.
“My lord, I want to state clear that the record of the court in the last sitting is that the court adjourned for judgment today. But I was shocked when my learner brother for the prosecution served on us an amended information. We have filed our motion for preliminary objection to the application. The prosection had amended the charge for five times since we started this matter. The business of today is judgment and we are ready, ” she affirmed.
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 judgment.
“I can confirm receiving the preliminary objection of my learner senior, but I want to state a junior, we are doing what we were assigned to do.,” Ukoha said.
After a few seconds of silence while standing, the prosecution said:” I hearby withdraw the amended information. ”
Justice Sherifat Solebo, adjourned the matter to 16 June for the judgment.