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Oil Block: Lagos Cleric Defrauds other Clerics, Business Partners too

By Ruth Bamidele, Lagos

One Dr. Olufemi Oladipo Folorunsho who was accused of forging documents of a company belonging to a former Lagos Branch Chairman of the Pentecostal Fellowhsip of Nigeria, Bishop Joseph Olanrewaju Obembe has denied all the allegations.

crude_oilThis was contained in his testimony before Justice Lateefat Okunnu of a Lagos High Court sitting in Ikeja.

Two more witnesses, Pastor Olagunju and Pastor Julius Sajuyigbe also corroborated his assertion that Pastor Obembe lied against the defendant.

Interestingly, the two witnesses shared the same faith with Bishop Obembe as they are also clergymen like Bishop Obembe.

A member of Bishop Obembe Church also testified against him in favour of the defendant.

The relationship among the five persons began when they bidded for an oil block named Oil Prospecting Licence -294 using Bishop Obembe’s ElShaddai Petroleum Limited.

At the centre of the business is a whopping 1.6bn naira. But the relationship went sour when the partners suspected Bishop Obembe of concealing expected revenue from them.

Having lost confidence in him, the accused told the court that he opted out of Obembe’s company but continued with using his company to continue the bid for the oil bloc.

Midway into the transaction, the sharing formula again pitched them against Bishop Obembe who they said demanded for payment of tithe to the church before they shared the remaining profit.

A new twist emerged when Bishop Obembe petitioned the anti-graft agency accusing Dr. Folorunsho of forgery

He alleged that he used forged letter head papers to transact financial and business dealings without his knowledge.

The defendant however faulted this assertion claiming that he had his power of attorney to do so.

The claims and counter claims by the counsel have been concluded and the trial judge had ordered them to file their final written addresses within four weeks.

The Judge adjourned further hearing till 29th January, 2014.

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