Church staffs steal N13m from sales of ‘spiritual materials’

Two church staffers are said to have helped themselves to money realised from the sale of ‘spiritual materials’

The defendants, Success Udoka and Prosper Iheukwumere, are members of the Mountain of Liberation and Miracles Ministry (a.k.a. Grace Nation International or Liberation City).

The prosecutor, the Police Special Fraud Unit preferred a four-count charge of conspiracy, stealing of church money and fraudulent accounting against the accused.

According to the SFU, the defendants committed the offences between 2019 and 2020 at the church located at Plots 4 to 12 Oshofisan St., Ojodu, Berger, Lagos.

“The funds were proceeds of sale of various spiritual materials and items belonging to the church.

“They deliberately failed to pay the proceeds into the church’s account domiciled in First Bank Plc and Guaranty Trust Bank.

“They falsified various money related entries in Point of Sale payment receipts and sales books belonging to the church which came into their possession as sales supervisor and sales representative.

The defendants denied the charges, following which their counsel Nicholas Akahabue prayed the court to grant them bail on liberal terms and self-recognition.

Akahabue offered to stand as a surety for the defendants and to ensure they give a refund of the stolen money before the completion of trial.

Granting the bail, Justice Hakeem Oshodi asked the defendants to deposit N5 million with the court registrar within 30 days.

On his part, the defendants’ counsel is to deposit his certificate of “Call to Bar” within 30 days with the court registrar to guarantee their attendance of trail.

Oshodi added the defendants would forfeit the bail, if they fail to meet the conditions before the stipulated time.

The case was adjourned until May 19 for trial.

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