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For Stealing Tithe, Offerings, Court Sentences Church Accountant to 18 Years Imprisonment 

By Olawale Oyegbade, The Nigerian Voice, S/W Bureau Chief
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The Adamawa State High Court has sentenced a Church Accountant Ibrahim Aku to 18 years imprisonment for stealing N15.5m from the tithe, Offerings and other income generated by the church.

The convict was prosecuted by Gombe Zonal Office of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC),

Aku, an accountant at EYN Church of Christ (Ekilisiyar Yen Uwa Nigeria), EYN, Church of Brethren in Nigeria (CBN) in the state faced a six-count charge, bordering on forgery and obtaining money by false pretence.

He was investigated and prosecuted following a petition by the church through Rev. (Dr). Daniel Mbaya, the Secretary General of the Church, alleging that Aku defrauded the church of N15.5million between 2016 and 2018.

Investigations by the EFCC, revealed that the money was generated by the church members by offerings, donations and tithe.

The Nigerian Voice gathered that the convict was assigned by the church to deposit the church's revenue into the church's account with First Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, but he ended up diverting same, and forged bank tellers to balance the financial books of the church.

He was assisted to commit the crime by his friend, one Benefit Ishaku currently at large to whom he gave N500,000. His accomplice assisted him in forging the stamps of the banks, which were also used to perpetrate the fraud.

He was prosecuted using the Advance Fee Fraud and other Fraud Related Offences Act, 2006.

He pleaded "guilty" to the chargesnand the prosecuting counsel, S.E. Okemini urged the court to convict him as charged.

Justice Nathan Musa, pronounced him guilty and sentenced him to 18 years in prison - three years on each of the counts, to run concurrently. He was not given an option of fine.