A Pastor of the Adventist Church, Omosebi Fred Adeola has been arrested by operatives of the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC), Abuja over alleged conspiracy and misappropriation of funds.
The suspect was arraigned before Justice A.O Otaluka of the Federal High Court sitting in Apo, Abuja on an 11-count charge bordering on conspiracy, abuse of office and diversion of funds to the tune of N15,619,000.
The clergyman who is also the Country Director of the Adventist Development and Relief Agency of Nigeria, allegedly diverted relief funds for himself, including paying for his PhD programme at Babcock University and illegally enlisting his wife on the church’s payroll.
Count two of the charge said being a signatory to the various bank accounts, around 13th December 2017, in Abuja, Adeola committed criminal breach of trust.
It was alleged that he first transferred N7,714,000 from the account of Adventist Development and Relief Agency of Nigeria to the account of one Ayeni Gbenga Joseph, cashed it and then converted it into personal use.
Adeola however pleaded “not guilty” to all the charges. Prosecution counsel, Ibrahim Audu asked the court for a trial date and requested that the defendant be remanded in custody pending trial.
Defence counsel, E. G. Alala notified of a pending bail application, and prayed the court to grant his client bail as he is “a modest man of God who honoured EFCC invitations”.
The presiding judge, Justice Otaluka granted Adeola bail in the sum of N10m and two sureties in like sum. The sureties must be residents in Abuja, have a property worth N10m, provide addresses of residence, provide identity cards, passport photographs and N3 million as bonds.
The case has been adjourned till September 30, 2021, for trial.