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Nigerian Pastor Jailed in the UK for Pocketing Church Funds

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Nigerian Pastor Jailed in the UK for Pocketing Church Funds

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 Nigerian Pastor Jailed In The UK For Pocketing Church Funds

Ebenezer Oduntan, a former pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) City of David in Kildare, has been convicted on 87 charges, including theft amounting to over €125,000, multiple breaches of company law, and deception.

The convictions come after a comprehensive investigation revealed Oduntan’s elaborate scheme, which involved pocketing church funds through various fraudulent means. The investigation found that Oduntan had passed five times more money than his declared income through his accounts between 2012 and 2018.

Throughout his trial at Naas Circuit Court, evidence was presented detailing Oduntan’s actions, including stealing church funds through cashing checks made payable to him personally and inflating donations to the church to exploit the Charitable Donation Scheme, resulting in excessive reimbursements from the Revenue Commissioners.

The trial also shed light on the lack of financial controls and corporate governance procedures within the church under Oduntan’s leadership. Despite the church’s mission to preach the gospel and uphold holiness, it was revealed that Oduntan took advantage of the trust placed in him by the congregation for personal gain.

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In a significant development during the trial, Oduntan pleaded guilty to nine charges of furnishing false information to the Companies Registration Office, five counts of deception, and 19 counts of theft. Subsequently, the jury returned guilty verdicts on all 54 outstanding charges.

Following the verdicts, Oduntan was remanded in custody by Judge Martina Baxter and scheduled to appear before the court again on April 10th for sentencing.

The case highlights the importance of accountability and transparency within religious institutions and serves as a warning against the exploitation of trust for personal gain.

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