The pastor, alongside an employee of Covenant University, were said to have unlawfully been diverting the funds for their private use without the church’s permission.
Justice Mojisola Dada of a Lagos State Special Offences Court, has remanded a pastor of the Living Faith Church (Winners’ Chapel), Afolabi Samuel, in Kirikiri Correctional Centre for stealing and conspiracy.
Samuel, who is an accountant and the church’s treasurer, was on Monday, November 25, 2019, arraigned before the court, for allegedly stealing $90,000 and N4.5 million belonging to the registered trustees of the church.
According to Punch, the pastor and one Blessing Kolawole, an employee of the Covenant University, who is currently at large, conspired and dishonestly stole the money and converted the same for their personal uses.
In the petition to the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), dated June 26, 2019, and signed by Chioma Okwuanyi and Co, legal practitioners, Samuel, who was employed in the account department of the church to maintain proper records of funds, allegedly connived with Kolawole and others to take advantage of their position as the church’s treasurer and worker at the university, respectively.
The petition read in part, “The duo started carrying out various acts of breach of trust and fraudulent commission of unconscionable economic crime and sabotage by unlawfully diverting to their private use the church’s money in Pastor Samuel’s custody without the permission of the church.
“The duo continued doing so until sometime in December 2018 when they ran out of luck and all their secret acts of economic sabotage and financial crime of fraudulently tampering with the church’s money were revealed.
“When confronted by the church, Pastor Samuel, who lives around the church on Raji Oba Street, Akowonjo, Lagos, admitted to committing the act and even voluntarily made a written confession where he detailed how they had been stealing from the church.”
S. O. Daji, EFCC prosecutor, said Samuel committed the offences on September 24 and December 31, 2018, in Lagos.
The presiding judge however adjourned the matter till December 10, 2019, for the hearing of the bail application.