Pastor With 5 Sickle Cell Children Found Guilty Of Fraud
By Abro Onyekwe
….. Sentenced To 2 Years In Prison
….. Counsel Set To Appeal
….. Civil Suit For Hearing October 10
Abel Olukayode Adewale, 58, the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) pastor renowned for fathering five children with sickle cell was today found guilty of fraud at Court 20, Magistrate Court, Igbosere, Lagos in the Lagos Judicial Division of Nigeria.
In the suit, Commissioner of Police vs Adewale Olukayode Suit No P/35/2012, before Hon. Justice Mrs. Owoyele, Pastor Adewale was sentenced to two years in prison without option of fine for employing electronic means to defraud one of Nigeria’s biggest banks of the sum of N1 million.
‘To whom much is given, much is expected,’ Justice Owoyele commented, saying the clergyman has not lived up to his calling as a ‘man of God.’
The fraud suit had lasted 5 years and was brought against the pastor by Wema Bank Plc. The Bank had gone on to file criminal charges on the heels of being found culpable for the infringement of the pastor’s fundamental human rights. Justice O. O. Femi-Adeniyi had slapped N2.5 million damages on the Bank in Adewale’s favour.
Wema Bank refused to pay damages although it went the extent of failing to honour it’s own cheque hurriedly issued after court bailiffs went to seal up its Marina, Lagos Headquarters. Hearing in the civil suit has been fixed for October 10.
Barrister Oluyinka Oyeniji, counsel to Adewale, is set to appeal today’s judgment. He accused Justice Owoyele of ‘bias’ for not only not giving room for the plea of allocotus but also for not allowing the option of a fine. He stated she erred in finding his client guilty.
Similarly, Pastor Emmanuel Dickson Ibekwe, of the Deeper Life Christian Ministry, described the judgment as ‘nauseating’. Ibekwe, who is also Chairman/CEO, Dabma Sickle Cell Foundation, said the Bank should have considered the morality of pursuing a case of a mere N1 million to such a conclusion.
‘I am not condoning criminality though,’ he said, adding that the Judge should have considered the impact of her judgment on the pastor’s family.
Meanwhile, the pastor’s three surviving children with sickle cell anaemia, the youngest of whom is 14 years old, have been left in the lurch, deprived of a devoted father and breadwinner.
For more on the genesis of the Adewale-Wema Bank saga, visit click here