Court 3

A 43-year-old pastor, Uchenna Okafor, was on Friday arraigned at Makurdi Chief
Magistrates' Court for allegedly defrauding a church member to the tune of N1.7 million.

Okafor is facing a two-count charge of criminal breach of trust and misappropriation, punishable under Sections 310 and 313 of the Penal Code, Laws of Benue.

Police Prosecutor Godwin Ato told the court that a petition was received on August 1 by the State Criminal Investigations Department (CID0, Makurdi, written by the complainant, Peter Irokwende.

The complainant explained that he sold his plot of land to one Uchenna Iroegbu for N1.7 million.

Iroegbu said he collected his pastor's account no. 4703061956 at EcoBank, bearing the name Uchenna Livinus Okafor for payment.

The complainant recalled that the buyer of the land paid the N1.7 million into the account, adding that, "the pastor converted the money to his own use."

Responding, Okafor pleaded not guilty when the charges were read to him.

Chief Magistrate, Mr Isaac Ajim, in his ruling, granted bail to the accused in the sum of N50,000 with a surety in the same amount and adjourned the case until September 13.

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