Commercial Law

Court refuses ‘Genesis’ post conviction bail application

Justice Olabisi Akinlade of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja has refused the post conviction bail application filed by the popular televangelist and the Head, Genesis Parish of the Celestial Church of Christ(CCC), Israel Oladele Ogundipe (a.k.a Genesis).

Justice Akinlade dismissed the application brought pursuant to S.6(6) of the Constitution of Federal Republic of Nigeria 1999 as amended S.51 of High Court of Lagos State, in a ruling, paving way for the convict continued stay at the Kirikiri Correctional Center in Lagos.

Genesis in a motion on notice for bail pending appeal asked the court for an order admitting the him to bail unconditionally pending the hearing and determination of the appeal.

In a 16 paragraph affidavit in support of the application sworn to by his lead counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Ajanaku, the convict affirmed being a diabetic patient, and therefore could not follow strict diet and needed constant specialised medical attention,  the effect of which has taken a toll on his health, causing him to look gaunt.

He further affirmed that prior to the convict’s sentence, he was suffering from hypertension, pelptic ulcer and unending malaria which had worsen his health challenges since his conviction in November 18, 2020.

However, the state in its counter affidavit sworned by Rotimi Odutola prayed the court to refuse the application noting in the years of the convict before his trial, he never complained of any ailment. “There was never a time the convict complained about his state of health during trial only for him to allude to facts about his alleged state of health now that he has being in custody for barely three weeks.”

Odutola averred that the correctional centers being a government center has adequate medical facility to manage the state of health of the convict. “Indeed, his health status truly requires treatment,the correctional centers also have a procedure for referral where an inmate’s health case so demand without the prompting of anyone.”

In its ruling, the court held that Genesis did not prove any special circumstances that could persuade the court to do so.

Justice Akinlade further held that the Court of Appeal Practice Direction 2013 provides for quick hearing of criminal matters. “The convict has not shown any medical records of his illness. Also he has not been to the prison hospital for treatment.So his appeal can be heard early by the court of Appeal.’

It would be recalled that the court had on November 18, 2020 convicted Genesis for conversion of property and stealing.

The state had since 2011 filed a seven counts charge against Ogundipe and was arraigned for obtaining by stealing, inducing delivery of money by false pretenses, unlawful conversion of property and forgery.

He was said to have illegally obtained from a London-based architect, Mrs Oladele Williams-Oni the sum of N11million between August 30, 2002 and 2005.

His offences contravenes Sections 390(9), 419 and 467(1)(b) of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos 2003.

He had pleaded not guilty to all the counts charge delineated ID/162C/2009.

Justice Akinlade found the prophet not guilty of five-counts of stealing, inducing delivery of money by false pretenses, giving false information to a public officer forgery.

But was guilty on two counts of stealing and unlawful conversion of property not delivered. She therefore sentenced him to one year imprisonment on count two and four.

Justice Akinlade ordered that he should pay the complainant, a london-based architect, Mrs Oladele Williams-Oni the sum of N11million which he illegally obtained from her.

According to the judge, “Both sentences are to run concurrently and the defendant is to restitute the complainant the sum of N2.5million in respect of count two (stealing) and N8.5million in respect of count 4 (unlawful conversion of property not delivered ).”

The prosecuting counsel, Mrs Rotimi Odutola, thanked the court for the well researched judgment.

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