Ayodeji Ibrahim Oluokun’s no-case motion was dismissed by Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo of the Special Offences Court in Ikeja, Lagos.
The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) charged the Lagos-based pastor with a $1.6 million fraud.
Oluokun’s trial began on May 8, 2019, and his firm, Peak Petroleum Industry Nigeria Limited, is being prosecuted alongside him.
They are accused of issuing forged checks, stealing, and collecting money under false pretences.
The EFCC informed the court that Oluokun issued a $1,000,000 Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria cheque payable to GOSL Nigeria Limited on or about June 26, 2014, in Lagos.
It was not honoured when it was presented for payment.
“on the grounds that no sufficient funds were standing to the credit of the account on which cheque was drawn.”
Oluokun also presented another Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria cheque to GOSL Nigeria Limited for a payment of $666,666.
The defendant entered a “not guilty” plea to the charges, resulting in the start of a full trial.
Before the case was closed, prosecuting counsel S. O. Daji called seven witnesses and presented several pieces of documentary evidence to prove the case.
E. D. Onyeke, the defence attorney, chose to file a no-case submission, claiming that “the prosecution has not made a case against the defendant to warrant him to enter his defence”.
The prosecution objected, claiming that evidence presented by its witnesses justified the necessity for the defendant to open his case.
“There is a need for the defendant to come and explain his role as he never used the money for the thing he claimed he wanted to use it for”, Daji said.
Today, Justice Taiwo stated that the court was convinced that the defence should open its case after listening to both sides’ arguments and written addresses.
The Judge added that Oluokun admitted to issuing the checks in his statement but did not deny collecting the $1.66 million loan.
The case will be heard again on June 10, 2022.