An Ondo-based cleric, Paul Oyewole, was on Thursday, arraigned before a Magistrates’ Court for allegedly faking his obituary to avoid a debt payment of N3 million.
Oyewole had owed one of his church members, simply identified as Boyede Emmanuel, with the promise to pay it back in seven days but defaulted.
The 43-year-old cleric, who was dragged before Chief Magistrate Mosunmola Ikujuni, was accused of fraud and pretence.
Moremi Akao, the prosecutor in charge of the case, told the court that the cleric committed the offence sometime between November 25, 2021, and May 7, 2022, along the Valentino area in Ondo.
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“The defendant alleged to have falsely published and posted his obituary on WhatsApp after he had sent a fake alert to (a bank account) knowing fully that he did not have such an amount in his bank account,” he said.
“The defendant had earlier threatened the complainant (church member) on phone, with the intent to intimidate him, and also conducted himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace, by stripping himself naked in front of the complainant’s house.
He added that his offence was contrary to and punishable under Sections 419, 86, and 125A(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
Oyewole pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Following a bail application by his counsel, Queen Arokoyo, Oyewole was granted N1 million bail with two sureties each in like sum.
Magistrate Ikujuni added that one of the sureties must have a landed property, residing within the jurisdiction, while the original and photocopy of the identification card must be attached.
She, however, adjourned the case till February 13 for further hearing.