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Nigerian Pastor Jailed For Pocketing Church Funds in uk

Nigerian Pastor Jailed For Pocketing Church Funds in uk

Ebenezer Oduntan, a former pastor of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) City of David in Kildare, has been convicted on multiple charges of theft, company law violations, and deception, involving over €125,000. Oduntan, who resided at Curragh Grange, Newbridge, Co Kildare, faced a total of 87 charges and was found guilty on all counts after a three-week trial at Naas Circuit Court.

The investigation into Oduntan’s (former pastor) finances revealed that he had processed funds through his bank accounts amounting to five times his declared income from 2012 to 2018. He was convicted of 73 counts of theft, nine company law offences and five counts of deception. The trial uncovered that Oduntan siphoned church funds, including individual cheques up to €20,000 made payable to himself and cheques made payable to cash.

The Corporate Enforcement Authority (CEA) exposed Oduntan’s elaborate fraud, which involved inflating church donation figures to receive larger reimbursements from the Revenue Commissioners under the Charitable Donation Scheme. Witnesses from various regulatory bodies and financial institutions testified during the trial, highlighting a severe lack of financial controls and corporate governance within the church under Oduntan’s leadership.

The RCCG, based at Naas Enterprise Park, Naas, Co Kildare, and at one time comprising over 100 families, claimed to promote the gospel and a lifestyle of holiness. However, the trial revealed that many of the donations meant for the church ended up in Oduntan’s hands.

Midway through the trial, Oduntan admitted to nine charges of providing false information to the Companies Registration Office, five counts of deception, and 19 counts of theft. The jury, presided over by Judge Martina Baxter, delivered guilty verdicts on all 54 remaining charges on Wednesday. Following the verdicts, Oduntan was remanded in custody and is scheduled to appear in court again on April 10th.

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