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N49.6m fraud: Absence of EFCC’s witness stalls prophet’s trial

Johannes

Jan. 07, 2020

Absence of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission’s, EFCC, witness stalled the trial of the founder of Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry, also known as ‘Tuesday Tuesday Church,’ Prophet Cletus Ilongwo, who allegedly defrauded a member of his church of N49.6 million.
During the resumed sitting of the court yesterday, EFCC’s counsel, Mr Nkemruwem Anana told the court that the witness, who is an EFCC official, had travelled for a course and had not yet returned.
Anana told Justice Sherifat Solebo that the commission had earlier informed the counsel to the defendant, Mrs Titilola Akinlawon (SAN) that the matter might not likely hold and that they were going to ask the court for an adjournment.
Responding to the submission of the EFCC counsel, the defence counsel, Mrs Akinlawon noted that the EFCC had consistently delayed the trial.
Akinlawon recalled that the prosecution counsel also failed to file additional information of the witness which was the basis for the last adjournment.
“Every adjournment has been at the instance of the prosecution, they have been delaying the matter. I want the court to bear in mind the conduct of the prosecution when this matter is concluded,” Akinlawon said.
Anana, however, denied that the prosecution was delaying the trial and said he will file the required document in court and will also serve Akinlawon a copy of the document.
Justice Solebo adjourned the case until February 6 for continuation of trial.
Prophet Ilongwo was arraigned on November 5, 2018 and pleaded not guilty to an 11-count charge of unlawful conversion of property.
According to the EFCC, he committed the offences between January and April, 2016.
The EFCC also alleged that Ilongwo collected the funds from one Obinna Ezenwaka on the pretext that he would help him purchase a property located 165c, Diamond Estate, Amuwo Odofin, but failed to purchase it.
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