Moses Ayantoye, a Pastor with the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Oke-Ife in Agbowo area of Ibadan, was on Tuesday docked before an Oyo State High Court in Ibadan, over alleged impersonation, forgery, among others.
The defendant is facing trial on 23 counts charge bordering on forgery, impersonation, defamation and fraud.
The Prosecuting Counsel, Mr. Michael Lana, informed the court that the defendant forged the letterhead of CAC, wrote a letter and forwarded it to the Assistant Inspector of Police (AIG) Zone 11, Osogbo.
Lana said that the defendant made false statement against the Pastors of CAC, the Church’s solicitor, officers of the Corporate Affairs Commission to the AIG with the aim of getting them falsely prosecuted for criminal offences.
He said that the defendant, with intent to defraud, made Church’s documents without any authority and wrote a letter to the Legal Practitioners and Privileges Committee.
Lana said that the defendant also made false information to the Chairman of Legal Practitioners and Privileges Committee with the aim of depriving an applicant for the rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria, not to be considered.
He said that the defendant impersonated as the National Publicity Secretary of the Church and used the church’s documents to write a letter which was published in the Nation Newspaper.
The prosecutor further said that the defendant published a defamatory matter against the President and other Trustees of Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria in the national dailies of Oct.18, 2021.
According to him, the defendant published a defamatory matter against the former Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mr. Mohammed Umar and former Assistant Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mr. Ajakaye in the Nation newspaper of May 4, 2017.
Lana said further that the defendant gave false information in a judicial proceedings with charge FHC/IB/9C/2011 between Federal Republic of Nigeria and Pastor Gideon Okegwemeh and others, while given evidence as his status.
The prosecutor said that the defendant also gave false information to the Attorney- General of the Federation against the Oyo State Director of Public Prosecution, officers of the church and officers of the Corporate Affairs Commission in a letter dated Nov. 7, 2000.
He said that the defendant on Sept. 22, 2005 gave false information to the AGF against Mrs P. I. Ajoku with the intention of removing her as the prosecutor of a case she was handling before the Federal High Court, Ibadan.
Lana said the defendant ensured that those who were Pastors of the church and the Corporate Affairs Commission officer be further prosecuted upon allegation made by him.
He said that the offences contravened Section 373, 375 and 465 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Laws of Oyo State, 2000.
The defendant, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The prosecutor urged the court not to grant bail to the defendant.
He told the court that the defendant has no traceable address and had earlier jumped administrative bail given to him by the police.
The defendant’s counsel, Mr. A. R. Daramola, said the defence had provided substantial facts, which the court could rely upon in granting bail to the defendant.
Daramola urged the court to reject the opposition of the prosecutor on the bail application, saying that the offences were bailable and not capital offences.
In her ruling, Justice R. Akintola, granted bail to the defendant in the sum of two million naira with two suties in like sum.
Akintola said that the sureties must be a reputable members of the society.
She, therefore, adjourned the case till April 6. (NAN)