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Police Arraign Salesgirls For Allegedly Stealing N13m From Church

The police in Lagos has arraigned two Salesgirls, Success Ibilibor and Chinonso Iheukwumere before the state high court sitting in Ikeja for allegedly stealing N13 million, belonging to the Mountain of Liberation and Miracles Ministry.

They were docked before Justice Hakeem Oshodi by Men of Police Special Fraud Unit (PSFU) Lagos on four-count charges of Conspiracy, fraudulent false accounting and stealing of the said sum.

The two defendants, who are the church’s sales supervisor and sales representative, respectively, were alleged to have committed the offence between 2019 and 2020.

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They were accused by the police of selling several spiritual materials of the church and diverting the money into their purses and using it for their gain.

The defendants were also accused of altering or falsifying various money related entries in Point of Sale (P.O.S) payment receipts/print-outs and sales books, belonging to the Church

The defendants were also alleged to have fraudulently converted the sum of N13 million, proceeds of spiritual items sold for the church to the account domiciled in First Bank Plc and GTB.

The prosecutor, Emmanuel Jackson, a Chief Superintendent of Police (CSP) told the court that the offence is contrary to and punishable under sections 516, 383(1), 383(2)(3), 516 and 438(a) of the Criminal Code Cap C38, Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

The defendants, however, pleaded not guilty to the charge.

Following their pleas, their lawyer, Nicholas Akahabue, pleaded with the court to grant the defendants bail on liberal terms and self-recognition.

He told the court that he was willing to stand as a surety for his clients if his request was granted, he also promised to ensure that the allegedly stolen money was refunded to the church before the end of the trial.

Jackson did not oppose the request of the defence counsel but urged the judge to impose conditions that would ensure they appeared in court for their trial.

After listening to the lawyers, Justice Oshodi granted the defendants bail on self-recognition and ordered them to deposit N5 million with the Court Registrar within 30-days.

The judge also ordered their lawyer to deposit his “Call to Bar” certificate within 30-days with the Court Registrar as a guarantee to always present the defendants for trial.

Justice Oshodi noted that in the event the church workers were unable to meet up with the bail conditions within the stipulated time, they shall forfeit the bail.

He then adjourned the case to May 19 for trial.

14th April 2024
Nigerian Pantagraph