Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun’s no-case motion was dismissed by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged the Lagos-based pastor with a $1.6 million fraud.
Oluokun’s trial began on May 8, 2019, and his firm, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, is being prosecuted alongside him.
They are accused of issuing forged checks, stealing, and collecting money under false pretenses.
The EFCC informed the court that Oluokun issued a $1,000,000 Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria cheque payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited on or about June 26, 2014 in Lagos.
When presented for payment, it was dishonoured “on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
In another count, Oluokun also tendered another Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria cheque for the payment of $666,666 to GOSL Nigeria Limited.
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The defendant pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, prompting the commencement of a full trial.
Prosecuting counsel, S. O. Daji, called seven witnesses with several documentary evidence to prove the case before closing.
The defence counsel, E. D. Onyeke, opted to file a no-case submission, arguing that “the prosecution has not made a case against the defendant to warrant him to enter his defence”.
The prosecution opposed, insisting that it had, through its witnesses, shown evidence warranting the need for the defendant to open his case.
“There is a need for the defendant to come and explain his role as he never used the money for the thing he claimed he wanted to use it for”, Daji said.
Today, Justice Taiwo said after listening to the arguments of both parties and written addresses, the court was convinced that the defence should open its case.
The Judge explained that Oluokun, in his statement, admitted to issuing the cheques and did not deny taking the $1.66million loan.
The matter will resume on June 10, 2022.