Court adjourns pastor’s alleged $1.6m dud cheque trial till January 20

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, on Friday, December 3, 2021, adjourned till January 20, 2022 for adoption of written addresses in relation to the no-case submission filed by one Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun, a self-acclaimed Lagos-based pastor.

Oluokun was arraigned alongside his company, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on a two-count charge bordering on issuance of dud cheques to the tune of $1.6 million.

He was first arraigned on January 21, 2019, on offences contrary to Section 1(1) (b) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, Cap D 11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004.

One of the counts reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum of $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) only payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited, which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”

Another count reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum $666,666 (Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Dollars only) payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”

He pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting his full trial.

He is alleged to have, some­time in 2014, approached the management of GOSL Nigeria Limited for a loan in the sums of $1 million and $666,666, which he claimed he needed to en­able him carry out operation activities in his company’s oil field in Bayelsa State.

Investigations by the EFCC, however, revealed that contrary to his claim, the monies he collected were diverted to personal use, including procuring a Mausoleum at Vaults and Garden.

The prosecution led by S.O. Daji presented several witnesses and tendered documents to prove the case against him.

The fourth prosecution witness, PW4, Chidi Chidiebere, a staff of Vaults and Gardens, testified that the defendant, indeed, procured a Mausoleum in which his late mother, Florence, was buried on November 23, 2012.

At today’s proceedings, the defence counsel, F.M. Fafomu, informed the Court that the defence had filed its no-case submission and served the prosecution.

Babatunde Sonoiki, who stood in today for the prosecution, confirmed the position and told the Court that the prosecution would do the needful.

Thereafter, Justice Taiwo adjourned till January 20, 2022 for adoption of no-case submission.