Church warden accused of N18.5 million fraud wants plea bargain

Suspect, Olabanji Oguntayo
Suspect, Olabanji Oguntayo

A Church Warden, Banji Oguntayo, who allegedly duped his church member of N18.5 million, has offered to repay the money, police said.

Mr. Oguntayo of Saviour Anglican Church in Abeokuta, who resides in Oke-Ata area of the town, was alleged to have taken over and sold properties belonging to the complainant, Jacob Erinle.

He was arrested by Ogun State Police Command following a petition written by a nongovernmental organisation on behalf of the victim, a pensioner and an elder of the same church.

On interrogation, Mr. Oguntayo owned up to the offence, and undertook to pay the money.

An undertaking signed by the suspect, seen by PREMIUM TIMES on Thursday, says the payment would be completed in installments by December.

“I shall pay the sum of N1million by the last day in June, 2017. I shall pay the sum of N1,700,000 by the end of July and the balance of N15,800,000 shall be paid by end of December, 2017,” the understand says.

The undertaking was signed by Mr. Oguntayo and Mr. Erinle complainant, and Adebayo Ayorinde, who served as witness.

The suspect also pledged to deposit the original title documents of his property, an uncompleted hotel valued at N60 million situated at Oke-Ata area of Abeokuta.

“I shall deposit the original title documents of my building which is an uncompleted hotel building consisting of a main hall, 2 chalet and 8 standard rooms with conveniences valued at N60, 000,000 situated at Oke-Ata Housing Estate, Abeokuta to Chief Jacob Tunji Erinle to be held as a security,” he wrote.

Mr. Oguntayo who also withdrew a petition he wrote against the police ‎for interrogating him over his business deal with the complainant, saying legal action should be taken against him should he fail to redeem his pledge.

“Where I fail, neglect or refuse to pay the sums as herein promised, the police authorities shall institute all necessary legal action against me in accordance with the law,” he wrote.

When contacted, Ogun State Police Command Public Relations Officer, Abimbola Oyeyemi, confirmed the development, stating that, the suspect and complaint had reached agreement to resolve the issue.

He said if the suspect reneged on his promise, legal action would be filed against him.


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