- Imprisoned pastors get additional jail terms for N32m theft
Former Managing Director of Achina Microfinance Bank, Aguata, Mr. Jonathan Nnamdi Udemadu, has been sentenced to prison for N66.6 million fraud. Also, Pastor Glory Okeoghene Aberefa and Rev. Vincent Okpogo, have been sentenced to prison for stealing N32,516,620.
The two men are already serving jail terms before the new conviction Udemadu was prosecuted by the Enugu Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) on a nine-count charge bordering on abuse of office, forgery, issuance of dud cheque and fraudulent conversion of depositors’ fund to the tune of N66,633,000. He was sentenced to 11 months imprisonment for multiple frauds by Justice I. B. Gafai of the Federal High Court, Awka, Anambra State.
The EFCC spokesman, Dele Oyewale, said that the complainant, Achina Microfinance Bank, had petitioned the commission, alleging that the defendant, being its former managing director granted N15 million unauthorised credit facility to Rommex Telecommunications Limited and also did the same to Noble Mike International Limited to the tune of N3 million and standing as their guarantor, without collateral. In the course of the trial, prosecution counsel, Michael Ani, called three witnesses and tendered 21 exhibits to prove the charges against the defendant.
He was convicted on all the nine counts with one month prison sentence each on counts one to seven and two months each on counts eight and nine, which are to run concurrently starting from July 23, 2020, date of conviction.
Apart from the prison term, Justice Gafai ordered the convict to repay Achina Microfinance Bank Limited the sums of money contained in the charge in line with Section 321(a) of the Administration of Criminal Justice, Act 2015. Meanwhile, the clerics, Aberefa and Okpogo, were convicted by Justice F. N. Azinge of the Delta State High Court, sitting at Otor-Udu. Aberefa was jailed 16 years while Okpogo was sentenced to 10 years imprisonment.
The convicts, alongside their company, Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited, were prosecuted by the Benin Zonal Office of EFCC, on a 16-count charge bordering on conspiracy to steal and stealing, contrary to Section 516 and 390 (9) of the Criminal Code, CAP 21, Vol 1, Laws of Delta State of Nigeria, 2006.
They pleaded “not guilty” to the charges, upon their arraignment on June 19, 2017. Their trial by the EFCC legal team of V. O. Agbaje and K. U. Udus followed a petition and investigation which fingered them in the stealing of N32,516,620. Trouble started for the convicts, when under the guise of running a finance company, defrauded dozens of unsuspecting members of the public of millions of Naira, through their fraudulent Mustard Seed Micro Investment Limited.
The convicts, who are already serving terms in prison, having been earlier jailed 17 years by the Federal High Court, Asaba and Delta State High Court, Warri, in Delta State, would serve a new sentence, which Justice Azinge said would take effect after they have completed the extant 17 years imprisonment. Aberefa was sentenced to one year imprisonment on each of the 16 counts, while Okpogo was jailed one year imprisonment each on counts seven to 16, all of which run consecutively.