By Taiwo Oluwadare, Ibadan
Pastor Moses Ayantoye of Christ Apostolic Church (CAC) in Oke-Ife, Agbowo area of Ibadan, was on Tuesday arraigned before an Oyo State High Court in Ibadan over allegation of impersonation and forgery.
The defendant is facing trial on 23-count charge bordering on forgery, impersonation,defamatory and fraud.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Michael Lana informed the court that the defendant forged the letterhead of CAC, wrote a letter and forwarded it to the Assistant Inspector of Police (AIG) Zone 11, Osogbo.
He said that the defendant made false state against the Pastors of CAC , the church’s solicitor, officers of the Corporate Affairs Commission to the AIG with the aim of getting them falsely prosecuted for criminal offence.
The prosecutor further said that the defendant with the intent to defraud made church’s documents without any authority and wrote a letter to the legal Practitioners and Privileges Committee.
He said that the defendant also made false information to the Chairman of Legal Practitioners Privileges Committee with the aim of depriving an applicant for the rank of a Senior Advocate of Nigeria not to be considered.
Lana said that the defendant impersonated the National Publicly Secretary officer of the church and used the church”s letterhead to write a letter which was published on the Nation newspaper.
He further said that the defendant published a defamatory matter against the President and other Trustees of Christ Apostolic Church, Nigeria in the national dailies of October.18,2021.
He further said that the defendant published a defamatory matter against the former Director of Public Prosecution of the federation,Mr Mohammed Umar and former Assistant Director of Public Prosecution of the federation,Mr Ajakaye in the Nation newspaper of May 4,2017.
Lana said that the defendant gave false information in a judicial proceedings with charge FHC/IB/9C/2011 between Federal Republic of Nigeria and Pastor Gideon Okegwemeh and others while given evidence as his status.
The prosecutor said that the defendant also gave failse information to the Attorney General of the Federation against the Oyo State Director of Public Prosecution, officers of the church and officers of the Corporate Affairs Commission in a letter dated Nov.7,2000.
He said that the defendant on Sept.22,2005 gave false information to the AGF against Mrs P.I. Ajoku with the intention of removing her as the prosecutor of a case she was handling before the Federal High Court,Ibadan and ensuring that the defendants who were Pastors of the church and the Corporate Affairs commission officer be further prosecuted upon allegation made by him .
He said the offences contravene section 373,375 and 465 of the Criminal Code Cap 38 Laws of Laws of Oyo State 2000.
The defendant, however, pleased not guilty to the charges.
The Prosecutor urged the court not to grant bail to the defendant,saying he has no traceable address and had earlier jumped administrative bail given to him by the police.
The defendant’s counsel, Mr A. R. Daramola, said the defence has provided substantial facts which the court can rely upon in granting bail to the defendant.
He urged the court to reject the opposition of the prosecutor on the bail application, saying the offences are bailable and not capital offences.
Justice R. Akintola granted bail to the defendant in the sum of N2 million with two sureties in like sum.
She said that the sureties must be a reputable members of the society and adjourned the case till April 6,2022.