Nowadays, one wonders and ponders about what is going on in this world with most of our pastors. You are almost tempted to utter bad words against them and you then remember the biblical saying ” touch not my anointed and do my prophet no harm”. In an instance similar to the above statement, a 45-year-old pastor, Bienose Chukwuka, who lives at 13, Stephen Adetayo street, Iju Ishaga are of Lagos was yesterday taken before a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja to contend with a 33-count charge of stealing and obtaining money by false pretences. The defendant allegedly stole and obtained N5.3 million by false pretences from 15 victims, including Pastor John Ezeugo and Revd. Peter Emeka.
Count 3 of the charge read: “Bienose Chukwuka sometime in January 2007 at Living Word Gospel Mission, 23 Lawanson Road, Lawanson Surulere, Lagos within the jurisdiction of this court, with intent to defraud, obtained N700,000 from the coordinator of Complete Achievers Group, Reverend Peter Ebony by falsely pretending that the money was an investment in a business venture in your company, Jem Global Ventures at 18, Bashiru Street, Ojodu-Berger in Lagos, which pretence you knew to be false or did not believe to be true.”
A Counsel for the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Ben Ubi, told the court that the offence was contrary to Section 1 (3) of the Advance Fee Fraud and Other Fraud Related Offences Act, No. 14 of 2006. When the charge was read to the defendant and he pleaded not guilty, the Counsel subsequently asked for a trial date, saying the defendant was already on bail. The defendant’s lawyer, Mrs. R. N. Eze, did not oppose the application.
The case was later adjourned by the trial judge, justice Lawal Akapo till December 1, 2 and 3 for trial, ordering that the defendant should continue to enjoy the bail Justice Adeniyi Onigbanjo had earlier granted him.