A federal high court in Yola, Adamawa state has on Monday sentenced the accountant of the Church of the Brethren in Nigeria, Ibrahim Aku, to 18 years in prison for defrauding the church of N15.5 million.
Aku’s trial before his conviction by a Yola High court judge, Justice Nathan Musa, was followed by the petition filed at the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) by the Secretary General of the Church, Rev. Dr Daniel Mbaya.
According to court records, Aku was convicted for defrauding the church of N15.5 million between 2016 and 2018.
Rev. Mbaya said the embezzled funds were part of contributions generated from church members’ offerings, donations and tithes.
Justice Nathan Musa, convicted Aku while ruling on a six-count charge filed against him on charges of forgery and obtaining money by false pretense.
The church accountant, who pleaded guilty to the charges, was sentenced to 18 years in prison without an option of fine.
The judge also ordered Aku to pay back the money as restitution to the church, adding that the proceeds of the crime recovered in the course of the investigation should be sold and the funds should be remitted to the church.
Speaking shortly after the verdict, Mr Bello Bajoga of the Public Affairs Department of the EFCC said:
The convict was entrusted with church money and he ended up diverting the money and forged tellers and presented same as genuine, to serve as evidence of payment of the remittance.