Afolabi Samuel, a pastor of Winners Chapel, has been sentenced to three years in prison by a Lagos state special offences court for stealing $90,000 and N4.5m belonging to the registered trustees of the church.
The pastor was arraigned before Mojisola Dada, the judge, on two counts of conspiracy and stealing by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC).
The EFCC said Samuel, who is the church’s treasurer, and Blessing Kolawole, an employee of Covenant University and currently at large, took advantage of their positions to steal the money and convert it to their personal use.
The offences contravened sections 278, 285 and 490 of the criminal law of Lagos state No. 11, 2011.
Dada, delivering her judgment, found Samuel guilty of the charges.
In a bid to lessen to the penalty, Rotimi Ogunwuyu, the convict’s counsel, pleaded with the court to temper justice with mercy.
He said his client realised his mistakes, which made him change his plea from not guilty to guilty.
He also pointed out that Samuel was responsible for his children’s education and care of his aged parents.
Owing to the counsel’s plea, the judge granted the convict an option of N1m fine and ordered him to refund the sum of $90,000 and N2,358,000 to the church.