The Ondo State Police Command, on Wednesday, arraigned an evangelist, John Abiodun, before a magistrates’ court sitting in Akure for allegedly swearing a false affidavit.
Abiodun, who is a former member of the Promised Land Prophetical Ministry, located in the Shasha area of Akure, was accused of lying against the founder of the church, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi, in an affidavit he swore before the Commissioner for Oaths.
The church alleged that Abiodun lied that the pastor buried some fetish items in the altar area, but when the police dug the altar, they did not find anything fetish.
As a result, Abiodun was arraigned on three counts bordering on falsehood.
The charges read, “That you, John Abiodun, on March 28, 2019, around 11am at the Chief Magistrates’ Court, Akure, did falsely swear an affidavit on oath before the Commissioner for Oaths knowing it to be false with intent to mislead members of the public, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 188 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
“That you, John Abiodun, on the same date, time and place, in the aforementioned magistrates’ court, did make a false statement on oath knowing it to be false, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 191 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.
“That you, John Abiodun, did insult the Church of God, Promised Land Prophetical Ministry, Shasha area, Akure, in order to prevent the free officiating and worship of the church, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 204 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State of Nigeria, 2006.”
The accused person, however, pleaded not guilty to the charges.
The counsel for the defendant, Mrs Maria Bolorunduro, urged the court to grant him bail in liberal terms.
She assured the court that Abiodun would not jump bail and that he was ready to provide credible sureties.
The prosecutor, Mr Martins Olowofeso, prayed the court to adjourn the matter in order for him to properly study the case file, adding that he had about four witnesses to call.
In her ruling, the magistrate, Mrs Ruth Olomilua, granted the accused person bail in the sum of N500,000 with two sureties in like sum, who must reside within the court’s jurisdiction and swear to affidavits of means.
She adjourned the case till October 18, 2019, for hearing.