Pastor jailed two years for lying in Ondo

An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital, on Thursday sentenced a Pastor, John Abiodun to two years imprisonment over false allegation and telling lies against the founder of a church.

Abiodun who was arrested in 2019 and dragged before the court for lying against the founder of the Promiseland Prophetic Ministry, Akure, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi, claiming that seven placentas were planted on the church’s altar.

The founder of the church, located around Shasha Area of Akure, Pastor Akinbiyi, however, dragged Abiodun, a former member of the church, to the court, saying the convict swore an affidavit before the Commissioner for Oaths, on the matter.

Abiodun, alongside a lecturer of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Prof Lanre Olu-Adeyemi were arraigned before the court on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, publications of false information, perjury, impersonation, threatening violence amongst others.

The second defendant, Olu-Adeyemi, was said to be the administrator of the WhatsApp group, through which the false publication and accusation was circulated.

Delivering the judgment, the trial judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe found the first defendant (Abiodun) guilty of count 5 of the charge for contradicting himself while giving evidence on the allegation against him.

The judge listed allegations against the convict to include using different church WhatsApp platforms and other social media to malign, carry out false publication and wrongly accuse the founder of the church.

The court, however, found Abiodun guilty of committing perjury which is punishable under section 118 of criminal code, laws of Ondo State.

The judge also held that, in law, anybody found guilty of perjury was liable to life or 14 years imprisonment but due to the plea by the defence counsel, Mr Olanrewaju Adesanmi, who pleaded leniency, the jail term was reduced to two years.

“The first defendant is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment,” the judge ruled.

The second defendant, Olu-Adeyemi was, however, discharged and acquitted due to lack of evidence against him.

The prosecuting counsel, Mr Kayode Dare expressed satisfaction on the judgement, saying the court had vindicated Pastor Akinbiyi and other members of his church.

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