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Church accountant bags 18yrs in jail for stealing N15.5m from tithes and offerings

Church accountant bags 18yrs in jail for stealing N15.5m from tithes and offerings

A church accountant has landed himself in prison for defrauding his church of N15.5 million.

Ibrahim Aku, an accountant at EYN Church of Christ (Ekilisiyar Yen Uwa Nigeria), EYN, Church of Brethren in Nigeria (CBN) in Adamawa State faced a six-count charge, bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretence.

He was committed to 18 years imprisonment by Justice Nathan Musa of the Adamawa State High Court.

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Gombe Zonal Office, had dragged him before the court after the commission was hinted of the offence.

A statement by Tony Orilade, acting Head, Media and Publicity, EFCC said Aku was investigated and prosecuted following a petition by the church through Rev. (Dr) Daniel Mbaya, a secretary general of the church, who alleged that Aku defrauded the church of N15.5 million between 2016 and 2018.

“Investigations by the EFCC, revealed that the money was generated by the church members by offerings, donations and tithe.

“The convict was entrusted by the church to deposit the church’s revenue into the church’s account with First Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, but he ended up diverting same, and forged bank tellers to balance the financial books of the church.

“He was assisted to commit the crime by his friend, one Benefit Ishaku currently at large to whom he gave N500,000. His accomplice assisted him in forging the stamps of the banks, which were also used to perpetrate the fraud.

“He was prosecuted using the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.”

He pleaded ‘guilty’ to the charges.

Prosecuting counsel, S.E. Okemini, thereafter, urged the court to convict him as charged.

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Justice Musa, thus, pronounced him guilty and sentenced him to 18 years in prison – three years on each of the counts, to run concurrently. He was not given an option of fine.

The trial judge, further ordered that he refund the stolen fund to the church, and that proceeds of the crime recovered from him should be sold and the proceeds remitted to the church.

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