An Oyo State High Court sitting in Ibadan has fixed June 1 for hearing in a case of alleged impersonation and fraud against one Pastor Moses Ayantoye of Christ Apostolic Church.
Our correspondent reports that Ayantoye pastors a branch of CAC in Oke-Ife, Agbowo area of Ibadan.
Justice R. Akintola fixed the date on Wednesday when the Prosecuting Counsel, Mr Michael Lana, informed the court of his application to amend the charges against the defendant from 23 to 31.
Our correspondent reports that the defendant was on Feb. 8 arraigned on a 23-count charge, bordering on forgery, impersonation, defamation and fraud.
Akintola said that she could not proceed to hear the application for amendment because of an urgent matter she needed to attend to.
She, however, fixed June 1 for hearing of the application and trial of the defendant.
Lana had earlier informed the court that the defendant forged the letterhead of CAC, wrote a letter and forwarded it to the Assistant Inspector-General of Police (AIG), Zone 11, Osogbo.
Lana said that the defendant made false statement against CAC pastors, the church’s solicitor and officers of Corporate Affairs Commission to the AIG, with the aim of getting them falsely prosecuted.
The prosecutor further said that the defendant, with the intent to defraud, printed the church’s documents without any authority.
“With the document, he wrote a letter to the Chairman of Legal Practitioners and Privileges Committee, with the aim of depriving an applicant for the rank of Senior Advocate of Nigeria not to be considered,” he said.
Lana said that the defendant impersonated the National Publicity Secretary of the church and used the church’s letterhead to write a letter which was published on The Nation newspaper.
He further said that the defendant published a defamatory matter against the President and other trustees of CAC in the national dailies of Oct.18, 2021.
The prosecutor added that the defendant published a defamatory matter against a former Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mr Mohammed Umar, and a former Assistant Director of Public Prosecution of the Federation, Mr Ajakaye in The Nation newspaper of May 4, 2017.
Lana said that the defendant gave false information in a judicial proceeding, with charge number: FHC/IB/9C/2011 between Federal Republic of Nigeria and Pastor Gideon Okegwemeh and others while giving evidence as his status.
The prosecutor said that the defendant also gave false information to the Attorney-General of the Federation against Oyo State Director of Public Prosecution, officers of the church and officers of 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.
The false information, Lana said, was also meant to ensure that the defendants, who were pastors of the church and the Corporate Affairs Commission officer, were prosecuted over the allegations made by him.
According to him, the offences contravene Sections 373, 375 and 465 of the Criminal Code, Cap 38, Laws of Oyo State, 2000.
The defendant had pleaded not guilty to the charges, while his Counsel, Mr A.R. Daramola, had also applied for his bail which was granted by the court.