CityNews Nigeria reports that the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission has presented two witnesses in the trial of an oil marketer and pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God, Ayodeji Oluokun.
Oluokun was arraigned before Justice Oluwatoyin Taiwo on two counts bordering on the issuance of dud cheques to the tune of $1.6m.
According to the EFCC, the defendant approached the Managing Director and Chief Executive Officer of GOSL Nigeria Limited, Emmanuel Ekpeyong, for loans of $1m and $666,666 to enable him to carry out operational activities in his company’s oil field in Bayelsa State and assured the complainant that he would repay the money within a year.
The defendant was alleged to have issued two post-dated Standard Chartered Bank Nigeria Limited cheques on June 26, 2014, for the sums of $1m and $666,666, but when the cheques were presented for payment, they were returned due to insufficient funds in the account of the drawer.
The EFCC alleged that Oluokun diverted the sums to his personal use, including procuring a mausoleum at the Vaults and Garden.
However, at the resumed proceedings on Wednesday, a staff of Vaults and Gardens, Chidi Chidiebere, while being led in evidence by the EFCC prosecutor, S. O. Daji, told the court that Oluokun procured a mausoleum for the burial of his mother.
Chidiebere further told the court that the total payment received for the services rendered from Oluokun was N49,676,666 through Peak Petroleum.
Another witness, who is the Managing Director of a financial services company, Classic Sorting Nigeria Limited, Ademola Adeyemi, told the court that Oluokun had approached him sometime in October 2013 to help him to convert the sum of $500,000 to naira.
He said, “Classic Sorting was able to provide the naira equivalent of N79,500,000 at the rate of N159 to a dollar, and it was a purely business transaction between both companies.
“Classic Sorting is not into oil exploration and Pastor Oluokun and I never discussed anything about using the funds received for any oil business.”
Justice Taiwo adjourned the matter till May 24 and 26 for the continuation of trial.