A 43-year-old pastor, Paul Oyewole has been arrested for faking his own death to avoid paying a N3 million debt owed to his church members.
Ondo-based Oyewole was on Thursday brought before the Magistrate’s court for prosecution. He was arraigned before Chief Magistrate Mosunmola Ikujuni, and charged for fraud and pretence.
It was gathered that Oyewole had lent the money from his church member, Boyede Emmanuel, and promised to repay after seven days.
However, Oyewole failed to return the money after the deadline and went on to fake his own death to avoid payment.
According to Moremi Akao, the prosecuting counsel, the accused was said to have committed the offence between 25 November 2021, and 7 May 2022, along the Valentino area in Ondo.
Akao said: “The defendant alleged to have falsely published and posted his obituary on WhatsApp after he had sent a fake alert to (a bank account) knowing fully that he did not have such an amount in his bank account.
“The defendant had earlier threatened the complainant (church member) on phone, with the intent to intimidate him, and also conducted himself in a manner likely to cause a breach of the peace, by stripping himself naked in front of the complainant’s house”.
According to Akao, Oyewole’s offence is in violation of the 2006 Criminal Code of Ondo state stipulated under Sections 419, 86, and 125A(1)
Meanwhile, the accused pleaded not guilty to the charges, and a bail application was tabled before the court by the defence counsel, Queen Arokoyo.
Following the reading of the bail application, the court granted N1 million bail condition with the stipulation that the accused tender two sureties each in like sum.
The court noted that the two sureties must have a landed property situated within the area, and provide original photocopies of their identity cards.
Magistrate Ikujuni adjourned proceedings till Monday, 13 February.