Pastor jailed 3 years for forging church’s signature

Nigeria’s Ekiti State High Court has convicted and sentenced 63-year-old pastor, Adereti Ebenezer, to three years imprisonment for forgery among other offences. reports that the Cherubim and Seraphim cleric will serve the sentence alongside his accomplice, a 68-year-old chief, Akinyede Joseph.

They were arraigned on October 18, 2021, on four counts bordering on conspiracy, forgery, false sworn declarations and making documents without authority, the news website reports.

According to the charge against the duo, Ebenezer and Ogunmoye “did conspire to forge the minute of meeting of the registered trustees of the United Church of Cherubim and Seraphim Organisation” on January 10, 2016.

They were also accused of making “false declarations that they were appointed as members of the registered trustees of the church and as well made an amended constitution of the registered trustees of the church without lawful authority.”

The prosecutor, Gbemiga Adaramola argued that the offences contravened sections 516, 467, 191 and 473 of the Criminal Code Cap. C16, Vol.1, Laws of Ekiti State, Nigeria, 2012.

“During the manual search conducted by CAC, it was discovered that Rt. Rev. Adereti Ebenezer who was archbishop 3 of the church and Chief Akinyede Joseph manipulated some documents which indicated that the trustees had a meeting and a decision was taken to remove Most Rev. Tunde Ogunseemi’s name; the minute of the same meeting was forged, among others, and presented to CAC.

“I was also alleged to have been present at the meeting. The matter was later reported to the police for investigation and action,” One of the trustees, Faseyi Albert said in his statement to the police.

The presiding judge, Justice Lekan Ogunmoye found the suspects guilty and sentenced them to one-year imprisonment each on counts one, two and four (conspiracy, forgery and making a document without authority) with an option of N20,000 fine, for each of the counts.

The sentences will however run concurrently.

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