Court orders RCCG pastor accused of $1.6m fraud to open defence


An Ikeja Special Offences Court has ordered Pastor Ayodeji Oluokun of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) to open his defence for alleged issuance of dud cheques of $1.6 million.

Ruling on Tuesday, Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo held that the prosecution had established a sufficient prima facie case against the defendant.

“After carefully considering the submissions of the prosecution and the defence, the court at this stage is not to review the evidence of the prosecution but to see whether the prosecution has put enough evidence before the court to warrant the defendant to defend his case.

“The prosecution called seven witnesses and tendered several documents. The evidence of the prosecution shows that the prosecution has sufficiently proven a prima facie case against the defendant.

“I hereby dismiss the application of the defence and order that the defendant to open his defence,” Taiwo ruled.

The defendant, who was an oil marketer and an assistant pastor of RCCG, City of David Parish, Victoria Island, Lagos, was charged by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) before the court alongside his oil firm, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Ltd.

The defendant and his company were first arraigned before the court on January 21, 2019, on a six-count amended charge bordering on obtaining money by false pretence, stealing and issuance of dud cheques.

The RCCG pastor pleaded not guilty to the charge and was admitted to bail.

Justice Taiwo adjourned the case until June 10 for the defendant to open defence.