Cleric allegedly posts his own obituary to evade payment of N3m Debt

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A Magistrate court in Ondo state has ordered the remand of a 43-year-old clergyman identified as Paul Oyewole who was arraigned for allegedly publishing and posting his obituary on social media in his bid to evade payment of N3 million he owed one of his church members.

It was gathered that Oyewole allegedly obtained N3m from one Boyede Emmanuel, alleging that he would pay back the money within seven days.

Police Prosecutor, Akao Moremi, told the court that after he reneged in his payment, the accused clergyman falsely published and posted his obituary on WhatsApp after he had sent a fake bank alert to his creditor.

He was further alleged to have threatened the complainant on phone, with the intent to intimidate him and also conducted himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace, by stripping himself naked in front of the complainant’s house.

Police Prosecutor said he committed the offense sometime between November 25, 2021, and May 7, 2022, along the Valentino area in Ondo, contrary to and punishable under Sections 419, 86, and 125A(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.

When the charges were read to him, the cleric pleaded not guilty. The police prosecutor told the court that he would call four witnesses to testify in the case and applied for a date to enable him study the case file.

The counsel to the defendant, Mrs Queen Arokoyo, applied for the bail of her client in the most liberal terms and promised the court that he would not jump bail.

The trial Presiding Magistrate, Mrs Mosunmola Ikujuni, therefore granted the defendant N1 million bail with two credible sureties each in like sum. Ikujuni, said one of the sureties must be a house owner, residing within the jurisdiction, while the original and photocopy of the Identification card must be attached.

The case has been adjourned till February 13, 2023, for a hearing.