Pastor de Lagos has case to answer about $1.6m scam – Court

Judge Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Crimes Court based in Ikeja, Lagos, on Tuesday, April 12, 2022, dismissed the absence of case filing filed by one Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun, a Lagos-based self-proclaimed pastor, who is being indicted by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for an alleged $1.6 million scam.

EFCC in a statement said that Oluokun, whose trial began on May 8, 2019, is being prosecuted along with his company, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on charges bordering on bad check writing, theft and obtaining under false pretenses for a sum of $1.6 million.

One of the charges reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about June 26, 2014, in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a limited check to Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria dated June 26, 2014 for the sum of $1,000,000 (one million dollars) payable solely to GOSL Nigeria Limited, which, when presented for payment, was not honored due to insufficient funds in the credit of the account on which the check was drawn.

Another charge reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about June 26, 2014, in Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a limited Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria check with dated June 26, 2014 in the amount 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 not accepted due to insufficient funds in the credit of the account in which the check was registered. it was drawed.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting the start of a full trial.

In the course of the trial, the prosecution’s attorney, SO Daji, called seven witnesses and presented various documentary evidence to prove the prosecution’s case before later closing it.

The defense attorney, ED Onyeke, instead of opening the defendant’s case, chose to file a no-claims brief, arguing that “the prosecution has not made a case against the defendant to justify opening his defense.”

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

“From the evidence before this Honorable Court, it is necessary for the defendant to come and explain his role as he never used the money for what he claimed he wanted to use it for,” Daji said.

Both parties, on March 11, 2022, adopted their written directions regarding the filing without a case, and the Court adjourned until April 12, 2022 (today) to rule.

Ruling on the request, Judge Taiwo noted that after carefully listening to the arguments of both parties, as well as the written directions, the court was convinced that it was necessary for the defense to open their case.

The Judge held that the defendant, in his statement, admitted having issued said checks and did not deny having taken the $1.6 million loan.

Thereafter, the trial judge dismissed the filing without cause and ordered him to open his defense.
The case has been adjourned until June 10, 2022.

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