Pastor arraigned for defrauding church member

The Pastor of Christ Citizen Glorious Assembly, Okota, Lagos, Pastor Ikechukwu Ezeiru, has been charged with fraud at an Ebute Meta Chief Magistrate’s Court.

He was arraigned on Tuesday for allegedly defrauding a church member, Ifeanyi Ohazurume, of N7m.

The police said Ezeiru collected the money to help the defendant purchase auction goods from the Nigerian Customs Service.

He allegedly didn’t return the money or the goods.

It was learnt that the pastor claimed to have given the money to his wife, who equally claimed to have passed it to someone else.

He was arraigned on three counts of obtaining under false pretences and stealing.

The charge reads in part, “That you, Pastor Ikechukwu Ezeiru, and others at large, sometime in the month of February, 2012, at about 10.00hours at First Bank Plc, Okota branch, Lagos, in the Lagos Magisterial District, did conspire to commit felony to wit: obtaining property by false pretences and stealing.

“That you on the same date, time and place in the aforesaid magisterial district, did obtain the sum of N7m from one Ifeanyi Ohazurume, under the pretext that you are in position to help him buy auction goods from Nigerian Customs Service, a representation you knew to be false.”

The police prosecutor, George Nwosu, who represented the resident prosecutor, DSP Etim Ekankuk, said the offences were punishable under sections 409 and 312 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, Nigeria, 2011.

The defendant pleaded not guilty to the charge and elected summary trial.

The defence counsel, Razak Adeyemi, applied for his bail in liberal terms.

The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Demi Ajayi, admitted the defendant to bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum.

The matter was adjourned till April 16, 2014.