A pastor; Afolabi Samuel, has been remanded in correctional custody for allegedly stealing $90,000 and N4.5m belonging to the Registered Trustees of the Living Faith Church, Cannanland, Ota, Ogun State.
Pastor Samuel, an accountant, was arraigned yesterday by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a two-count charge of stealing and conspiracy before Justice Mojisola Dada.
EFCC prosecutor, S. O. Daji, alleged that the defendants, who worked as treasurer of the church, committed the offences sometime between September 24 and December 31, 2018 in Lagos.
The anti-graft agency said Samuel and one Mrs Blessing Kolawole, a staff of Covenant University, now at large, conspired and stole the money and property of the Living Faith Church trustees.
The pastor and Mrs Kolawole were accused of converting the sum of $90, 000 and N4.5 million to their own personal use.
A petition to EFCC by Chioma Okwuanyi & Co Legal Practitioners claimed that Pastor Samuel was employed in the accounts department of the church to maintain proper records of funds.
The law firm, acting as solicitors to the church trustees, said that both Pastor Samuel and Mrs. Kolawole connived with others and took ‘criminal advantage’ of their positions as church treasurer and staff of the university.
The law firm said, “The duo started carrying out various acts of alleged breach of trust and fraudulent commission of economic crime and sabotage, by unlawfully diverting to their private use, the church’s money in Pastor Samuel’s custody without the permission of the church.”
“When confronted by the church, Pastor Samuel, who lives around the church at Raji Oba, Lagos admitted committing the act and even voluntarily made a written confession wherein he detailed how they have been stealing from the church.”
Justice Dada remanded Samuel and adjourned the matter till December 10, 2019.
@ The Nation