An Igbosere Chief Magistrates’ Court in Lagos Thursday, sentenced a self-proclaimed pastor, Abel Adewale Olukayode, to four years and six months imprisonment for stealing N984,450 from Wema Bank Plc, according to The Nation.
Chief Magistrate A. T. Omoyele convicted Olukayode, 58, on a three-count charge of stealing. According to the report, the magistrate found that he transferred the sum in tranches of N22,550, N701,900 and N260,000 through WEMA Bank’s mobile application to his First Bank and Guarantee Trust Bank (GTB) accounts.
She sentenced him to six months imprisonment on count one and two years each on counts two and three without an option of fine.
All sentences will run concurrently, meaning Olukayode, who claimed to be a clergyman with the Apostolic Church, will spend only two years in jail.
In the course of the trial, prosecuting Sergeant Cyriacus Osuji said the convict, of 26, Sadiku Ayinla Street, Odo-Kekere in Ikorodu, committed the offence between March 5 at about 4pm and March 6, at about 7am, in 2012, with the aid of his mobile phone.
He said: “The defendant, with the aid of his mobile phone with sim number 08034456771, stole N22, 550 through his Wema Bank account, property of WEMA Bank Plc.
“At the same time and place with the aid of his mobile banking application, he transferred N701,900 from WEMA Bank to his GTB Bank account and N260,000 to his First Bank account, property of WEMA Bank Plc”.
According to the prosecutor, the offences contravened sections 278(2) and 285 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2011.
Olukayode pleaded not guilty and was released on bail.
But a witness from WEMA Bank testified that between March 4-6, 2012, the bank’s system malfunctioned and the convict, who had only N300 in a joint account he operated with his wife, took advantage of the situation to steal.
He stated that immediately Olukayode noticed the malfunction, he started buying airtime which accumulated to N22, 550 and thereafter transferred the other amounts to his GTB and First Bank accounts.
The court heard that Olukayode wasn’t the only one that took advantage of the situation, but he was one of a few, who when he was approached, refused to return the money.
When others, who took advantage of the situation, were approached, they admitted their offence and started repaying the money, the witness said.
But Kayode told the bank that he had been praying and asking God to provide for him to enable him build his own church and the money was God’s answer to his prayers.