After 17 years of legal tussle between two factions in the Christ Apostolic Church, the General Executive Council and Supreme Council, over alleged forgery of the church documents, a Federal High Court in Ibadan, yesterday, upheld a ‘no case submission’ in favour of the defendants.
The Federal Government, based on a petition written by Pastor Moses Ayantoye to the police, had filed a suit against leaders of the church, including Pastor J. Ade Olutimehin, Pastor D. O. Babajide, Pastor J. D. Obafemi, Pastor E. H. L. Olusheye, Pastor Ayo Olabisi, Pastor Gideon Okegwemeh and a Corporate Affairs Commission’s (CAC) Official, Mr. Ahmed, where it was alleged they forged church documents tendered at CAC, to obtain certificate of incorporation of the church in 1995.
The case started in 2000 at an Ibadan Magistrate Court but was eventually struck out. Later, in 2002, the case was taken to the state High Court, in Ibadan, and it was struck out, again, in 2005.
Dissatisfied, the case was re-listed at the Federal High Court in 2007 during which the case was amended.
When the judge was again transferred, Justice Ayo Emmanuel took over.
The CAC leaders’ counsel, Mr. Michael Lana, had earlier opposed tendering of documents which the prosecution relied upon describing them as “hear-say documentary evidences.”
In his ruling, Justice Ayo Emmanuel said one of the witnesses, Pastor Ayantoye, did not say anything that could make the court convict the defendants.
He added that the prosecution did not lead evidence to prove that the accused persons had committed any offence.
He therefore granted the prayer of ‘no case submission’ in favour of the defendants.