Mrs A. T. Omoleye, of Tinubu Magistrates’ Court has sentenced a man who claims to be a pastor, to 17 years imprisonment, for forging documents with which he attempted to dispossess a man of his building.
Godson Onyeoziere, who calls himself an apostle in charge of Lifeway Pentecostal Ministries at 3 Prophet Adeoye Street, Ijeshatedo, in Lagos, fainted in the dock while the sentence was being read out and had to be revived in court.
He was convicted on a four-count charge of altering documents, forgery of documents and obtaining property by false pretense.
The convict would however spend only three years in Ikoyi Prisons as his sentences would run concurrently.
Mrs Omoleye, had in her judgment stated that the convict had betrayed the public trust bestowed on his profession and tarnished his legacy to the church.
“What type of example are you setting for the members of your church,” she asked him.
Onyeoziere was arraigned on October 25, 2009, in Ikeja, Lagos but was sentenced at a Tinubu Magistrates’ Court as the magistrate had been transferred out of Ikeja Magistrates’ Court.
The prosecutor, Insp. Roman Unuigbe, told the court that Onyeoziere committed the crimes at the church premises in 2008 and 2009.
“He forged various documents including stamp duties, tenancy agreement, and other documents with which he claimed Olowu’s uncompleted one storey building at the mentioned address.
“Olowu had let him use his uncompleted building for church activities without paying any rent, while he would in turn keep the place clean and maintain the property.
“On a visit to the property, Olowu, discovered that the convict had made some developmental alterations to his property and was claiming it as his own.
“This led to him demanding his property back from the convict who refused, and thus began the struggle to reclaim it,” Unuigbe said.
The prosecutor also said that the offences contravened sections 468, 467, 419 and 467 of the Criminal Code Cap 17 Vol. 2, Laws of Lagos State of Nigeria, 2003.