Nigerian prophet bags 7 years imprisonment for defrauding church member of N59.7m

A Nigerian prophet, Cletus Ilongwo, has been sentenced to seven years imprisonment for defrauding his church member of N59.7 million.

According to reports, Ilongwo, who is the presiding pastor of Power of the Holy Ghost Evangelical Ministry, Lagos state was found guilty of a seven-count charge bordering on fraud and theft.

Delivering judgment, on Thursday, September 22, 2022, Justice Sherifat Solebo of the Ikeja special offences court ordered the forfeiture of the convict’s property situated on No 3, Popoola Ajayi Street, Diamond Estate in Amuwo Odofin, Lagos, to the complainant.

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He further held that, “His Toyota Prado is also to be forfeited to the federal government as restitution to settle the complainant.”

 

Earlier, the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) submitted that the accused on January 29, 2016, defrauded a former member of his congregation, one Mr Obinna Ezenwaka.

EFCC’s counsel, Nwandu Ukoha, told the court that Ilongwo collected the money in tranches through his Zenith Bank account: 1003455899.

Ukoha said that the pastor received the amount from Ezenwaka on different occasions in 2016 on the pretext of helping him to purchase a property located at Diamond Estate, Amuwo Odofin.

The defence counsel, Mr Albert Imolodia, informed the court that the convict was a first-time offender.

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He said, “He is a family man who has people that rely on him for their survival. We pray the court to temper justice with mercy.”

The EFCC counsel, however, urged the court to give the convict maximum sentence as required by law and a restitution order in line with the Advance Fee Fraud Act.

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