By; BAYO AKAMO, Ibadan
A Federal High Court sitting in Ibadan on Tuesday discharged and acquitted the immediate past Secretary General of the Christ Apostolic Church (CAC), Worldwide, Pastor Gideon Okegwemeh and an official of the Corporate Affairs Commission, Mr. Ahmed of forgery allegation.
Justice Ayo Emmanuel in his judgment upheld the ‘no case submission’ application of their counsel.
Justice Ayo Emmanuel declared that the prosecution in the case had told the court that he intended to call five witnesses but succeeded in calling two and that the third witness had disappointment him for not coming to the court thereby promisingto return the case file to the ministry.
The judge stressed that after many adjournments the prosecution decided not to appear in court and that the defendants counsel, Barrister Folorunso Lana applied to make a no case submission on behalf of his clients.
He stressed further that apart from the fact that the prosecution decided not to call other witnesses as he promised, the evidence given by the first prosecution witness, Pastor Moses Ayantoye and second prosecution witness failed to establish premafacie case against the two defendands by so doing, the court has no option than to throw out the forgery allegation against the defendants and discharged and acquitted them.
Upholding the no-case submission of CAC Leaders’ Counsel, Justice Ayo Emmanuel said the prosecution did not lead evidence to prove that the accused persons had committed any offence.
He therefore dismissed the charge and acquitted the accused persons.
In his remarks on the judgment, the President of Christ Apostolic Church, Pastor Abraham Olukunle Akinosun has urged all ministers and members of the church in the opposing camp to seize the opportunity offered by the ruling of the court to return to the fold.
Pastor Akinosun maintained that the court ruling has confirmed the genuineness of the certificate of incorporation of the church, obtained in 1995.
It would be recalled that the Federal Government instituted the case against the defendants in year 2000 based on the petition written by one Pastor Moses Ayantoye to the police alleging that the leaders of Christ Apostolic Church, namely: Pastor J. Ade Olutimehin, Pastor D. O. Babajide, Pastor J. D. Obafemi, Pastor E. H. L. Olusheye, Pastor Ayo Olabisi, Pastor Gideon Okegwemeh and a Corporate Affairs Commission’s Official, Mr Ahmed forged the documents which they tendered at the Corporate Affairs Commission to obtain the Certificate of Incorporation of the church in 1995.