The Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, on Monday sentenced a pastor serving with the Living Faith Church, also known as Winners Chapel, Afolabi Samuel, to three years in prison for stealing $90,000 and N4.5million belonging to the church.
Samuel, who was the church treasurer, was arraigned before Justice Mojisola Dada by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a two-count charge of conspiracy and stealing.
During the proceeding, the EFCC counsel told the court that Samuel and one Blessing Kolawole, an employee of Covenant University, who is currently at large, took advantage of their positions to steal the money and convert it to their personal use.
The offences, according to the EFCC, contravened sections 278, 285 and 490 of the criminal law of Lagos State No. 11, 2011.
The pastor’s counsel, Rotimi Ogunwuyu, urged the judge to be lenient on his client, saying he was a first time offender.
Ogunwuyu said his client had realised his mistakes which made him to change his plea from not guilty to guilty.
The lawyer noted that the pastor was responsible for his children’s education and care of his aged parents.
In her judgment, Justice Dada found Samuel guilty on the charges and sentenced him to three years in jail.
She, however, gave the pastor an option of N1million fine but ordered that he must refund the $90,000 and N2, 358,000 to the church or he would remain in jail.
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