By Adaeze Iroha
Lagos – The police on Monday arraigned two men and a minor in a Yaba Chief Magistrates’ court in Lagos for allegedly stealing N2.7million from a church offering box.
The police charged Osita Egbo; 32, Joel Okafor; 18, and a minor with two counts of conspiracy and stealing.
They pleaded not guilty.
The Prosecution Counsel, Sgt. Modupe Olaluwoye, told the court that the defendants committed the offence at midnight on July 2, at the Mountain of Fire Ministry church, (MFM), Onike area of Yaba, Lagos.
Olaluwoye, said Egbo, was a night security guard at the church while the two teenagers were members of the church.
The prosecution alleged that they stole from the church offering boxes three times in the last one month with a fourth accomplice, but were never caught.
Olaluwoye said that a fourth accomplice, another minor , confessed to the crime after he felt cheated by the defendants.
He said that the defendants stole a total of N2.7million from the church offering box.
The offence, he said, contravened the provisions of sections 411 and 287 of the Criminal Law of Lagos State, 2015 (Revised).
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that Section 287 stipulates a three-year jail term for stealing while Section 411 provides for two years in prison for conspiracy.
Chief Magistrate Oluwatoyin Oghere admitted the defendants to bail in the sum of N1million each with two sureties each in like sum.
Oghere ordered that the sureties must be gainfully employed and have evidence of three years’ tax payment to the Lagos State Government.
She adjourned the case until Sept. 25 for mention.