Nigeria – Pastor Paul Oyewole, an Ondo State-based cleric, has been charged with faking his own death in order to avoid repaying N3 million ($6,514) borrowed from a member of his church.
Pastor Oyewole was accused of publishing and posting his obituary on a social media platform after sending a bogus bank alert to his creditor, Boyede Emmanuel.
Oyewole was charged with obtaining money fraudulently and failing to repay it within seven days.
The 43-year-old pastor was also accused of falsely publishing and posting his obituary on WhatsApp after sending a fake alert to U.B.A account No. 2140338283, despite knowing he did not have such in his bank account.
He was further alleged to have “threatened the complainant 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 Police Prosecutor Akao Moremi, he committed the crime between November 25, 2021, and May 7, 2022, in the Valentino area of Ondo, in violation of and punishable under Sections 419, 86, and 125A(1) of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
The cleric, on the other hand, pleaded not guilty to the charges leveled against him.
Moremi, who told the court that he planned to call four witnesses to testify in the case and requested a date to study the case file.
Mrs Queen Arokoyo, the defendant’s counsel, applied for bail in the most liberal terms and promised the court that her client would not jump bail.
Mrs Mosunmola Ikujuni, the trial Presiding Magistrate, thus granted the defendant N1 million bail with two credible sureties each in the same amount.
According to Ikujuni, one of the sureties must be a house owner residing within the jurisdiction, and the original and photocopy of the ID card must be attached.
She then postponed the case until February 13, 2023, for a hearing.