The Ikeja High Court, Lagos has arraigned a Christ Embassy pastor, Osazuwa Okungbowa who reaped off a Port Harcourt based man of N4.5 million meant for the purchase of a land.

According to the Daily Post News, the amount was specifically for payment of two plots of land located around the Port Harcourt Polytechnic, Bori Camp.

Shedrach Ternenge Iyo, a detective working with the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) told the court that the accused, Gobari Maxwell, received the money via a bank transaction made from the bank account of the complainant.

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He said, “Maxwell allegedly committed the offence on June 12, 2012 at Ikeja Judicial Division by dishonestly converting the said sum to his personal use.

“During investigation, the agency sent a letter to the two banks which were used for the transaction; a First Bank account belonging to the complainant’s wife and a Diamond Bank account belonging to the pastor, requesting for account statements.

“When we received the banks’ response, we analysed both accounts and discovered that the sum transferred for the land purchase was N3.8 million while N700,000 was transferred as a loan to the pastor.

“Okungbowa made the land payments in seven instalments through his wife’s bank account from June24 to May 31, 2012 in the variations of N300, 000 and N500, 000 consecutively.

“After volunteering a statement and being read a caution, the pastor confessed to have received the money but claimed he used it to settle his elder brother’s hospital bills, who was brought back to Nigeria from the United States of America (USA) for treatment.

“The accused is facing a one-count charge of stealing contrary to Section 258(a)(b) of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, No. 11, 2011."

Justice Kudirat Jose, who presided over the case has fixed April 13 to 14, Thursday and Friday respectively for the next hearing.