The Economic and Financial Crimes Commission, EFCC, Lagos Zonal office, yesterday, arraigned one Chimezie Chuta before Justice Mojisola Dada of the State High Court sitting in Ikeja, Lagos on one-count charge bordering on stealing of $56,000 belonging to Bishop David Oyedepo
The offence is contrary to Section 285(7) of the Criminal Code Law of Lagos State No. 11 of 2011.
EFCC spokesman, Wilson Uwujaren, in a statement, said the defendant, a former employee in the publishing unit of Dominion Book Stores, an online book store owned by The Living Faith Church Worldwide, allegedly hacked into the company’s mail and diverted payments for some goods bought by online customers to his personal account.
The defendant, said to have been an active member of the Living Faith Church Worldwide for six years, sometime in 2013, proposed to the church to build an online digital media store that would showcase all of Bishop David Oyedepo’s books and audio messages online to enable members of the church in the Diaspora to buy them and also receive digital copies.
EFCC investigation revealed that the project was approved by the Church absolutely free of charge on contract basis.
It was further revealed that the defendant handed over all the relevant materials to the ICT Department of the church.
However, the defendant was alleged to have later gone behind to hack into the computer server of the church to perpetrate the fraudulent act.
The one-count charge reads: “That you, Chimezie Chuta, sometime between the months of August 2013 and August 2016, at Lagos within the Ikeja Judicial Division, whilst being a staff of Dominion Book Stores stole the sum of $56,000 (Fifty-six Thousand United States Dollars), property of Dominion Bookstores, a publishing unit of the Living Faith Church Worldwide, through the Dominion Bookstores online platform dominionlinestore.org.”
When the charge was read to the defendant, he pleaded not guilty.
In view of his plea, the prosecution counsel, Gabriel Akaogu, asked the court for a trial date and prayed the court to remand the defendant in prison custody.
However, the defence counsel, R.E. Osige, urged the court to admit his client to bail.
Justice Dada adjourned the case to March 7, 2018 for hearing of bail application and commencement of trial.