The Court of Appeal in Lagos has granted the Senior Shepherd-in-Charge of the Celestial Church of Christ, Genesis Global, Prophet Israel Ogundipe, a post-conviction bail.
A three-man panel on Thursday granted Ogundipe bail on the ground of health conditions.
Justice Olabisi Akinlade had on November 18 sentenced the popular prophet to one-year imprisonment for converting a woman’s property to his personal use and stealing.
The court had found Ogundipe guilty of stealing and unlawful conversion of the property of a London-based architect, Mrs Oladele Williams-Oni.
Ogundipe, who was arraigned on seven counts bordering on obtaining by stealing, inducing delivery of money by false pretences, unlawful conversion of property and forgery, fraudulently collected N14m and £12,000 in various tranches from the complainant between August 30, 2002 and 2005.
Justice Akinlade, who found Ogundipe guilty on two counts count of stealing and unlawful conversion of property not delivered, sentenced him to one-year imprisonment on each count and ordered that he should pay the complainant the sum of N11m, which he obtained from her illegally.
Dissatisfied with the judgement, Ogundipe, through his counsel, Babatunde Ogala (SAN), approached the appeal court for bail pending the hearing of the appeal and an application to quash the conviction.
Ogala argued the televangelist was diabetic, could no longer follow a strict diet and the constant specialised medical attention in custody, which had taken a toll on his health made him “gaunt in appearance.
The counsel had argued that Ogundipe being diabetic, could not follow a strict diet and constant specialised medical attention in the custodial centre, which had taken a toll on his health.
Delivering the ruling, Justice Abudullhai Bayero said, “There are criteria for granting a convict bail. These include that the applicant must be a first time offender or have a serious health condition.
“The applicant seeking bail pending appeal before the court is a first-time offender and he has also shown to the court that he is having hypertension, peptic ulcer, unending malaria and diabetes, which are serious health conditions.
“He is consequently admitted to bail in the sum of N2m with two sureties in like sum. The sureties must have landed property on Lagos Island with the original Certificate of Occupancy from the Lagos State Government. The sureties are to deposit these documents along with their passport photographs with the Deputy Registrar of the Court of Appeal.”