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Pastor, 4 Others Get 71-year Imprisonment Over Fraud

Source: thewillnigeria.com

The saying that whatever a man sows he reaps, rightly captures the conviction of Pastor Michael Spring Inyang and four others whose hope of enjoying the proceeds of crime was dashed as they were made to spend Christmas and begin the new year in prison after the courts handed them various jail terms shortly before 2009 came to an end.

Inyang, the proprietor of Christian Millionaire Club is to spend the next four years behind bars after Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of the Lagos High Court found him guilty on all 17 count charge filed against him by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC.

The pastor who used the name of God to defraud hundreds of his followers began his scam in 2006, when he registered an organization known as Christian Millionaires Club through which he persuaded victims to part with their resources with an assurance that bountiful rewards await them here on earth and in heaven.

The convict also told his victims that his club was affiliated to a popular Christian body in United States and as such whatever they contribute would be rewarded in manifold at the end of the year. This led many of the victims to sell their properties, while some borrowed money from the banks to invest in the club.

Almost immediately, Pastor Inyang's life changed for the better, he moved from one room apartment in Egbeda to a duplex in a choice area in Lagos while he bought state of the art cars to complement his new status. But their hope was dashed when at the end of the year, Inyang was nowhere to be found. So in 2007, the case was reported to the EFCC and he was later arrested. At the end of investigations, he was arraigned before Justice Olubunmi Oyewole of Ikeja High Court where he was eventually convicted.

Meanwhile the EFCC got another Nigerian Convicted before a judge in an unrelated matter. The convict was a former corps member, Mr. Alli Olumide Monsuru. Alli, who has HND in Mass Communication was on his compulsory one-year youth service in Bauchi in 2007 when the greed in him pushed him to leave his duty post and travelled to Lagos where he went to the notorious Oluwole market to buy 259 pieces of fake travellers cheque. He was subsequently arrested at the Murtala Mohammed International Airport, Ikeja when he was about to board a Virgin Nigeria aircraft to South Africa.

When the NDLEA officials at the airport searched his luggage, they discovered counterfeit travellers cheques concealed in three pairs of shoes. The convict was later handed over to the EFCC. After a thorough investigation, the ex-corps member was arraigned before Justice J.E. Shakharo of the Federal High Court Lagos in 2008 on a 23-count charge bordering on forgery and possession of counterfeit foreign cheque. The prosecution called four witnesses and in December 2009, he was found guilty on all the counts. He was consequently convicted and sentenced to three years and two months imprisonment.

Also, Mr. Ikecukwu Ogbu is to spend the next five years in prison custody as pronounced by Justice Oyewole. He pleaded guilty to all the eight counts charge leveled against him bordering on conspiracy and obtaining money by false pretences. He was subsequently convicted and sentenced to five years imprisonment on each count. The prison term is to start after Ogbu who is serving a prison term for another offence must have completed the first prison term.

For Benjamin Aniegbo Aifubhekan, it came to him as a rude shock when few days to Christmas Justice Mufutau Olokooba of Ikeja High Court sentenced him to three years imprisonment without an option of fine. He was only paying for the sin he committed four years ago when he swindled one Nurudeen Inuwa of millions of naira. He was later arraigned on a 40-count charge bordering on conspiracy and obtaining by false pretences. He was found guilty on all the counts.

In addition to three years imprisonment, he is to forfeit as restitution; one million naira recovered from him to be paid to the victim; a pathfinder Nissan jeep with registration Number DU 669 EKY. The convict is also to pay the sum of N20, 000 every month to the victim through the EFCC until the outstanding sum of N1.95million is fully paid.

In like manner, Sanusi olaniyi AbdulWasiu, aka Ms. Dianna Kells of Olabisi Onabanjo University, Ago-Iwoye also bagged a 56 year jail term shortly before Christmas after Justice Lawal Shuaibu of the Federal High Court, Kaduna found him guilty on all the eight count charge filed against him by the EFCC on October 23, 2008. The convict had been arrested for internet fraud before his arraignment.

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