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Fraud: Jubilation As Convicted Prophet Returns To Church

Head of Genesis Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ, Alagbado, Lagos Prophet Israel Ogundipe has returned to church following his release from prison.

The cleric on Sunday joined in the worship and was received by an overjoyed crowd.

Ogundipe is seen in a video posted to Instagram by the church leading praise and worship.

A three-man panel of the Court of Appeal in Lagos granted Ogundipe post-conviction bail on April 1 on the ground of health conditions.

Justice Olabisi Akinlade of the Lagos State High Court had on November 18 sentenced the popular prophet to one-year imprisonment for converting a woman’s property to his personal use and stealing.

The court had found Ogundipe guilty of stealing and unlawful conversion of the property of a London-based architect Oladele Williams-Oni.

Ogundipe, who was arraigned on seven counts bordering on obtaining by stealing, inducing delivery of money by false pretences, unlawful conversion of property and forgery, fraudulently collected N14m and Β£12,000 in various tranches from the complainant between August 30, 2002 and 2005.

Justice Akinlade, who found Ogundipe guilty on two counts count of stealing and unlawful conversion of property not delivered, sentenced him to one-year imprisonment on each count and ordered that he should pay the complainant the sum of N11m, which he obtained from her illegally.

Dissatisfied with the judgement, Ogundipe, through his counsel Babatunde Ogala, approached the Appeal Court for bail pending the hearing of the appeal and an application to quash the conviction.

Ogala argued the televangelist was diabetic, could no longer follow a strict diet and the constant specialised medical attention in custody, which had taken a toll on his health made him β€œgaunt in appearance.”

Delivering the ruling, Justice Abudullhai Bayero said, β€œThere are criteria for granting a convict bail. These include that the applicant must be a first-time offender or have a serious health condition.

β€œThe applicant seeking bail pending appeal before the court is a first-time offender and he has also shown to the court that he is having hypertension, peptic ulcer, unending malaria, and diabetes, which are serious health conditions.”

Gregory University Uturu, Abia State
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