EFCC arrests Pastor for allegedly diverting Church’s N15m for his PhD and secretly enlisting his wife on Church’s payroll

The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has charged a pastor, Omosebi Fred Adeola, before Justice A.O Otaluka of the Federal High Court in Apo, Abuja, with an 11-count charge of conspiracy, abuse of power, and diversion of funds totaling N15,619,000.

Adeola, who is a pastor in the Adventist Church and the Country Director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency of Nigeria, is accused of diverting relief funds for personal use, including paying for his PhD program at Babcock University and illegally enlisting his wife on the church’s payroll.

Count two of the indictment stated that on or around December 13th, he was a signatory to numerous bank accounts.

It was alleged that he first transferred N7,714,000 from the account of Adventist Development and Relief Agency of Nigeria to the account of one Ayeni Gbenga Joseph, cashed it and then converted it into personal use. 

However after Adeola pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges, Prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Audu asked the court for a trial date and requested that the defendant be remanded in custody pending trial.

Defence counsel, E. G. Alala notified of a pending bail application, and prayed the court to grant his client bail as he is “a modest man of God who honoured EFCC invitations”. 

Justice Otaluka granted Adeola bail in the sum of N10m and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be residents in Abuja, have a property worth N10m, provide addresses of residence, provide identity cards, passport photographs and N3 million as bonds.

The case was then adjourned until September 30, 2021, for trial.

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