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Forgery: Ekiti pastor, accomplice bag three-year jail terms

An Ekiti State High Court in Ado Ekiti on Thursday sentenced two men – a 63 years old cleric, Rt. Rev. Adereti Ebenezar and 68 years old Chief Akinyede Joseph – to three years imprisonment each for conspiracy and other offences.

They were arraigned before Justice Lekan Ogunmoye on four counts bordering conspiracy, forgery, false sworn declaration, and creating papers without authorization on October 18, 2021.

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According to the indictment, on 10 January 2016 at Ilado Street, Iwore, Ifaki Ekiti, Joseph and Ebenezer “conspired to fake the minute of meeting of the Registered Trustees of the United Church of Cherubim and Seraphim Organization.”InformationGuideNigeria

Additionally, they were accused of making “false representations that they were appointed as members of the Registered Trustees of the church, as well as producing an altered constitution of the Registered Trustees without legal authority.

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According to the prosecutor, Gbemiga Adaramola, the offences contravened sections 516, 467, 191 and 473 of the Criminal Code Cap C16, Vol.1, Laws of Ekiti State Nigeria, 2012.JAMB Result

In his statement to the police, one of the Trustees, Faseyi Albert, said, “I was appointed alongside others as the Board of Trustees of the Church in 2001, the appointment was sent to the Corporate Affairs Commission for ratification.

“After the demise of Primate and Archbishop of the Church, Most Rev. S.A. Fadeyi, the Bishop in-council consequently ratified the appointment of Rt. Rev. Tunde Ogunseemi as the new Primate/Archbishop of the organization in 2015.NYSC Portal

“During the manual search conducted by CAC, it was discovered that Rt. Rev. Adereti Ebenezer who was Archbishop 3 of the Church and Chief Akinyede Joseph had manipulated some documents which indicated that the trustees had a meeting and the decision was taken to remove Most Rev. Tunde Ogunseemi’s name, minutes of the same meeting was forged among others and presented to CAC.

“I was also alleged to have been present at the meeting. The matter was later reported to the police for investigation and action, he said.

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Adaramola, the prosecution, presented five witnesses and numerous materials, including the petition to the CAC, a copy of the letter of resignation, meeting minutes, a letter from the Conference of General Secretaries to the Archbishops, and the defendants’ statements.JAMB Portal

In their defence, the defendant, through their attorney Ayotunde Ibitoye, presented four witnesses and begged with the court to balance justice with mercy.

In his verdict, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye, citing strong evidence that the defendants plotted to counterfeit the Board of Trustees member’s signature and the Registered Trustees’ meeting minutes, discharged and acquitted them on count three (false declaration).

Ogunmoye, however, pronounced, “The defendants are sentenced to one-year imprisonment each in counts one, two, and four (conspiracy, forgery and making a document without authority) with an option of N20,000 fine, in each of the counts. The sentences are to run concurrently”.

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Emediong Silver

Emediong Ekpe is a graduate of English. A professional Sports journalist/analyst, and a spoken word artist. He is passionate about decimating information and putting smiles on people's faces via news writing. Whatapp: 08088735884

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