The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) of the Gombe area office obtained Monday the conviction of an Ibrahim Aku before judge Nathan Musa of the High Court of Adamawa State.
Aku, accountant at EYN Church of Christ (Ekilisiyar Yen Uwa Nigeria), EYN, Church of Brethren in Nigeria (CBN) in the state, faced a charge of six counts, limiting counterfeiting and obtaining under false pretenses.
He was investigated and prosecuted following a church petition through the Reverend (Dr). Daniel Mbaya, secretary general of the Church, alleging that Aku defrauded the church of 15.5 million naira between 2016 and 2018.
EFCC investigations revealed that money was generated by church members through offerings, donations and tithing.
The convict was instructed by the church to deposit the church’s revenues into the church’s account with First Bank Plc and Zenith Bank Plc, but ended up misappropriating the same and forged cashiers to balance church financial books.
Aku was helped to commit the crime by his friend, an Ishaku advantage currently at large, to whom he gave 500,000 N. His accomplice helped him forge bank stamps, which were also used to commit fraud.
He was prosecuted under the 2006 law on anticipatory fraud and other fraud-related offenses.
He pleaded “guilty” to the charges.
Advocate General H.E Okemini subsequently urged the court to convict him.
Judge Musa therefore found him guilty and sentenced him to 18 years in prison – three years for each of the counts, to be executed simultaneously. He was not given a fine option.
The trial judge further ordered that he reimburse the funds stolen from the church and that the proceeds of the crime recovered from him be sold and returned to the church.