On Wednesday, November 18, 2029, a Lagos State High court sentenced popular prophet and Shepherd-in-charge of Celestial Church of Christ, CCC, Global Genesis church, Prophet Israel Oladele Ogundipe to two-year imprisonments for defrauding a London-based woman, Mrs Olaide William Oni, of N17 million.
The trial judge, Justice Olabisi Akinlade, sentenced Prophet Ogundipe after she found him guilty of two-count charges out of the seven he was charged with.
Justice Akinlade, in a judgment that lasted for about four hours, sentenced the defendant, Prophet Oladele to a year imprisonment each for count two and four.
She, however, discharged him of counts 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 for lack of evidence against him.
While delivering the judgment, the judge held that the prosecution led by Mrs. Rotimi Odutola has proved her case beyond reasonable doubt against Prophet Oladele.
“The defendant is hereby convicted for count two and four but the court acquits him of count 1, 3, 5, 6 and 7 because the prosecution did not produce the witness to prove the charge against him.
“He is thereby sentenced to a year jail term for each of the counts he was convicted for and the terms are to run concurrently,” the judge pronounced.
Justice Akinlade further ruled that the sentence is to run concurrently.
She, however, added that the defendant is to reinstate the sum of 2.5 million in respect of count 2 and N8.5 million in respect count 4. Totaling N11 million to be paid to the complaint as restitution.
However, after the judgement was pronounced on the defendant, Prophet Isreal Oladele Ogundipe, he broke down in court and pleaded for mercy.
“My lord, I will pay the money right now in court if given the opportunity, I will just call few people and the money will be ready, he said”.
The court, however, replied him that he would have done that when the matter was charged to court rather than allow it get to this stage.
In his plea for allocutus, counsel to the defendant, Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku urged the court to tamper justice with mercy, saying he is a father to many children.
“We urge your lordship to be lenient with the defendant because many people depend on him.”
The prosecution, Mrs Rotimi Odutola however thanked the court for the judgment delivered after many years.
Oladele was charged with six count charges bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretenses, preferred against him by the Lagos State government sometimes in June 2010.
He was said to have defrauded Mrs Olaide William Oni, a London-based architect, of N17 million.
Oni alleged that the preacher defrauded her and attempted to blackmail her into forfeiting all her landed property in his custody.
According to Williams-Oni in her evidence before the court, Oladele Ogundipe called her and advised her to invest in landed property in Lagos, advice she heeded after consultation with some persons.
Williams-Oni said she sent money to Oladele in five instalments of N900,000, N2.5 million, N8.5 million, N2.7 million and 12,000 pound sterling between 2002 and 2005 to purchase the property on her behalf.
She alleged that after collecting the money, the prophet converted some of the said property for his personal use and refused to refund the money for the others.
“When I confronted him about this, he started threatening my life and blackmailing me. He was saying that I had a son for him, which became an embarrassment to my family,” she claimed.