Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos, has convicted and sentenced a Pastor, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun, to two years in prison.
He was jailed on Tuesday, September 21, 2022.
Oluokun’s conviction came, consequent on his arraignment by the Lagos Zonal Command of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, alongside his company, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on an amended six-count charge bordering on issuance of dud cheques, stealing and obtaining by false pretence to the tune of $1.6 million on January 19, 2019.
One of the counts reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum of $1,000,000 (One Million Dollars) only payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited, which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
Another count reads: “That you, Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun and Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, on or about 26th June, 2014, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, issued a Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited Cheque dated 26th June, 2014 for the sum $666,666 (Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Thousand, Six Hundred and Sixty-Six Dollars only) payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited which when presented for payment was dishonoured on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
He had pleaded "not guilty" to the charges, thereby leading to his full trial.
Prosecuting counsel, S.O. Daji, in the course of the trial, presented six witnesses through whom several documentary evidences were tendered against him.
After the prosecution had closed its case, Oluokun, through his counsel, E.D. Onyeke, filed a no-case submission, urging the court to hold that the prosecution did not prove the charges against him.
The no-case submission was, however, dismissed by Justice Taiwo, who ordered him to open his defence. Consequently, Oluokun took to the dock to defend himself.
Delivering judgment on Tuesday, Justice Taiwo held that the prosecution successfully proved the case of the issuance of dud cheques against the defendant.
“The defendant issued two cheques in the sum of $1.6million 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 offence. 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.
“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”, he said.
The Judge, therefore, sentenced him to two years in prison, with an option of fine of N2 million. The company was fined N2 million.
He also ordered him to restitute the sum of $1.6 million to the petitioner within 18 months.
Oluokun’s journey to the Correctional Centre started, when he issued a cheque in the sum of $1.6million( One Million, Six Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) to a company, GOSL Nigeria Limited, and when the cheque was presented, it was dishonoured because there was no fund in his account.
Media & Publicity
September 21, 2022