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RCCG Pastor Bags 2-Yr Jail Term Over Issuance Of $1.6m Dud Cheque

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An Ikeja Special Offences Court, on Wednesday, sentenced Ayodeji Oluokun, an Assistant Pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG), City of David Parish, Victoria Island, Lagos, to two years imprisonment for issuing a $1.6 million dud cheque.

Oluokun was charged alongside his company, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Ltd., on an amended six-count charge bordering on the issuance of a dud cheque, stealing, and obtaining money under false pretenses.

Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo, in her judgment, held that the prosecution had successfully proved the charge of issuance of a dud cheque against the defendants.

Taiwo, however, discharged and acquitted the defendants of stealing and obtaining money under false pretenses.

“The defendant issued two cheques in the sum of $1.6 million to the nominal complainant, which was dishonoured because there was no fund in the defendant’s account.

“Issuance of cheque for lack of credit is a strict liable offense.

“If the defendant was truly expecting some money till the end of July 2014 as claimed by him, he would have waited till he received the money before issuing the cheque on June 24, 2014,” said Taiwo.

The judge said the first defendant knew all of these and still went ahead to issue the cheque dated June 24, 2014.

“It is hereby in the view of this court that the defendant was deliberate in issuing the dud cheque.

“He is hereby found guilty of counts one and two of issuance of dud cheque.

“The defendants, however, are discharged and acquitted of stealing and obtaining money under false pretenses as the prosecution failed to establish the facts against them,” she said.

The judge, thereafter, sentenced the first defendant to two years in prison or payment of a fine of N2 million, and the second defendant to a fine of N2 million.

She ordered the convict to make restitution of $1.6 million to the nominal complainant within 18 months.

The defense counsel, Mr. Edoka Onyeke, in his allocutus, prayed the court to grant the convict a non-custodial sentence, adding that he was a pastor and could use his pastoral work as service to humanity, through community service.

“My lord, apart from the defendant being a first offender, if he is incarcerated, he will not be able to carry out the necessary things on behalf of the second defendant so as to make the restitution easy.

“The first defendant is a pastor of a church. This is a very good opportunity for him to engage in community service instead of a custodian sentence so as to preach the word of God.

“On a final note, the defendant has promised to involve the nominal complainant in order to make the restitution,” Onyeke said.

Counsel to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Mr. Samuel Daji, however, urged the court to convict the defendants as charged.

He argued that the convict and the nominal complainant had not been on talking terms, thereby making the terms of restitution difficult to meet.

He also prayed the court to order the defendant to forfeit his property in order to pay up the debt.

“My lord, from the evidence before this court, the defendant is not committed. It has been nine good years my lord.

“A dollar was N150 at the time the loan was granted to the defendant. The defendant does not even greet the nominal complainant unless it is of utmost necessity.

“There is an evidence that the defendants never want to settle this case.

“The defense counsel said he is a pastor. My lord, the more reason he should be given a custodial sentence in order to serve as a deterrent to others.

“The court has stated mandatory sentence. We shall be asking for restitution. I shall be urging the court to order the defendant to forfeit his property so as to use it to pay his debt,” Daji said.

The EFCC counsel had submitted that the defendant issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Ltd. cheque of $1.6 million payable to GOSL Nigeria Ltd.

He said when presented for payment, the cheque was dishonored on the ground that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which the cheque was drawn.

The offenses contravened Sections 1(1) (b) of the Dishonoured Cheques (Offences) Act, Cap D 11 Laws of the Federation of Nigeria, 2004, and Section 285 (1) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State and section 1(3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences.

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Project Lead Africa Announces 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards, Tagged “Rewarding Tenacity”

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Organizers of Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards have annouced November 13th for the 2022 maiden edition of Lead Awards. It was also revealed that the prestigious event will hold at the Dome International Conference Center, Akure, Ondo State.

Addressing a cross section of journalists over the weekend in Lagos, the Executive Director, Abiola Alaba Peters AAP, said the evening promises to be a gathering of captains of industries, government officials and prominent traditional rulers as far as Ondo State is concerned.

“It is our pleasure to announce to the general public, particularly the good people of Ondo State, that all is set for the 2022 Leadership Excellence And Dignity Awards. This announcement was necessary after several months of consultation and planning, the event will be live at the Dome International Conference Center, in Ondo State capital, Akure”

“The date is November 13th 2022, It’s going to be a cooperate night, an evening of glitz and glamour, we have put in so much into making this maiden edition a memorable one. And that is why we have also taking time to design the concept of the theme of this year ceremony, REWARDING TENACITY. We believe it’s time to celebrate the individuals and organizations who have put in their best in making our dear state what it is today”

“It’s promises to be a gathering of some of the biggest names in Ondo State, from politics, business, entertainment, among others, our traditional rulers are not going to be left out, we are also expecting guests from neighboring states. Alaba Peters concluded.

Giving further details on the event, the Media and Publicity Director, Adewoye Solomon, said although activities, such as nominations and voting has kicked off since January, the award ceremony will hold on a Sunday in the month of November 2022.

In his words, “Let me start by saying that, the process and activities for the award started in January this year, the award presentation will hold in Akure, on a Sunday, the second week of November 2022. Let me also add that, two months ago, we closed the voting process. We have about 25 categories of awards, which includes the special recognition category”.

“A total of 15 categories will be decided by general public, while the remaining 10 will be decided based on the panels’ decision. We received a good number of quality entries from across the state for this debut edition. We have our final shortlists of winners, which we are confident embody the excellence the awards stand for.”

Lastly, let me also add that, this is a strictly by Invitation event. We are introducing an electronic invites by next month. We also have some top celebrities coming in from Lagos. We will make some major announcement in the month of October, do well to follow us on all our social media pages for updates. Thank You “

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JUST IN: FG Makes U-Turn, Withdraws Order To Reopen Varsities

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The Federal Government, through the National Universities Commission, Monday afternoon, withdrew its circular which ordered vice-chancellors, pro-chancellors, and governing councils to re-open federal universities.

It was reported earlier that a circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 was addressed to all vice-chancellors; pro-chancellors and chairmen of governing councils of federal universities ordering them to re-open universities.

But in another circular tagged NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/136, which the Director, Finance also signed, and Account of the NUC, Sam Onazi, the commission withdrew the order.

Though it did not explain why. The letter tagged, “withdrawal of circular NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135 dated September 23, 2022” partly read, “I have been directed to withdraw the NUC Circular Ref: NUC/ES/138/Vol.64/135, and dated September 23, 2022, on the above
subject.

“Consequently, the said circular stands withdrawn. All pro-chancellors, chairmen of governing councils, and vice-chancellors of federal universities are to please note. Further development and information would be communicated to all relevant stakeholders.

“Please accept the assurances of the Executive Secretary’s warmest regards”

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Retired Soldiers Stage Protest In Abuja Over Pay Discrepancies [PHOTOS]

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Some retired soldiers on Monday in Abuja protested salary and pension gaps among the ranks of serving and retired military personnel.

The protesters were seen with mats and banners demanding that the federal government rectify the discrepancies.

One of the banners they carried, said, “Review the wide disparity in pay and pension across the ranks of servicing and retired personnel”

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