By Moronke Boboye
A 57-year-old cleric, Celestine Wanu, who allegedly obtained N40,000 from one of his church members on the pretext that he would help him buy groundnut oil, was on Monday brought before an Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.
The accused who resides at 1, Lola Faleye St., Meiran, a suburb of Lagos, is facing: obtaining by false pretences and stealing charges.
The prosecutor, Insp. Rachel Williams, told the court that the offences were committed on March 2017 at Akintoye Street in Meiran, near Alagbado, Lagos State.
Williams said that the accused collected N40,000 from one of his church members, Mrs Yinka Akinloye, on the pretext that he was going to buy some kegs of groundnut oil for her.
“The accused bought the oil, but sold it and failed to pay the complainant her money.
“Thereafter, the accused disappeared from his house and the church which he founded, “she said.
Williams said that the accused also feigned death which led to the arrest of the complainant, after it was alleged that he killed the suspect.
“The complainant was charged before a court where he was, eventually, granted bail.
“It was during the trial that the complainant heard from a reliable source that the accused was still alive, “she said.
Williams added that a reliable source told the police where the accused was hiding and he was apprehended.
The offences contravened Sections 285 and 312 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
The accused, however, entered a not-guilty plea.
The magistrate, Mrs L.Y. Balogun, granted the accused to a bail of N200,000 with two sureties in like sum.
Balogun adjourned the case until May 8 for mention.