#BounceExclusive: Pastor Jailed 4 Years For Defrauding Church Member N2.5m
Reverend Emmanuel Onwukwe is a Senior Pastor in the the Apostolic Christian Church Mission, ACCM, Bless Jah Street Gowon Estate, Lagos.
As a senior pastor, Rev Onwukwe supposedly earned the trust of both his congregation and other members of the pastoral council.
It was based on this trust and respect that a member of the church, Elder Samuel Amanze entrusted money to the tune of 2.5million Naira into the hands of the hands of one Chief Mike Williams introduced by the pastor as a businessman.
Bounce News gathered that Pastor Onwuke had in 2010 introduced Williams as a businessman who could assist the church members in setting up businesses.
The church member, who had no reason to doubt his pastor saw an opportunity, tapped into the business idea and got his fingers burnt.
When the victim went to Pastor Onwukwe, who lived with Williams in the Pastor's residence before the scandal, he denied knowing Williams.
The Church was said to have transferred Pastor Onwukwe out of Lagos to its branch at Osusu Amakwa area close to Ogbo hill in Aba City, Abia State as the Resident Pastor at the heat of the scandal.
He was however brought back to Lagos after the matter was reported at the police station and subsequently taken to court.
Following the scam in the church, a legal practitioner, Barrister Chidozie Nnaji wrote a petition to the police at Area G Command, Ogba on behalf of Nwanze, and the police arrested Onwukwe and charged him to court for conspiracy and fraud.
The prosecutor, Feddy Asu proved the allegation against Onwukwe beyond reasonable doubt and asked the court to find him guilty and jail him accordingly to serve as deterrent to others.
He was found guilty of conspiracy and fraud and sentenced accordingly before the Ogba Magistrates court presided by the senior Magistrate, Mr G.O. Ogunkanmi.
The court however ruled that the sentence will run concurrently, in other words Onwukwe will be spending the next two years in prison custody at Kirikiri, Lagos.
'Pastor Was Framed Up'
When Bounce News visited the church located at Gowon Estate, Iyana Paja, some members of the church were seen wearing long faces as they were not pleased with the sentence.
One of the members who spoke told Bounce News that the pastor only introduced Chief Williams who is at currently at large, but did not connive with him to dupe Elder Amanze.
He stated that, "The Senior Pastor introduced Chief Williams 7 years ago, he did in good faith not knowing Chief was a frauster.
"He collected money from some members after promising to help get goods from China but eloped with the money".
"We believe that Pastor Onwukwe will be vindicated very soon as he has done nothing wrong".
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