Dayo Johnson Akure
An Ondo State High Court sitting in Akure, the state capital has sentenced a pastor John Abiodun to two years imprisonment for telling lies and publishing false allegation.
Recall that Abiodun was arrested in 2019 for lying against the founder of a church, the Promiseland Prophetic Ministry, Akure, Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi, that seven placentas were planted on the church’s altar.
The church was located at Shasha Area of Akure, the Ondo state capital.
Abiodun who was a former member of the church was said to have sworn an affidavit before the Commissioner for Oaths, on the matter.
The convict alongside with a lecturer of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba Akoko, Prof Lanre Olu-Adeyemi were later arraigned on an eight-count charge bordering on conspiracy, publications of false information, perjury, impersonation, threatening violence amongst others.
The second defendant ( Prof. Olu-Adeyemi), was the administrator of the WhatsApp group, through which the false publication and accusation were passed.
During the court proceedings, various witnesses were called by the court on the sides of both prosecutors and defendants.
Delivering judgment, the trial judge, Justice Bode Adegbehingbe found the first defendant (Abiodun) guilty of count 5 of the charge for contradicting himself while giving evidence in the allegation against him which included using different church WhatsApp platforms and other social media to malign, carry out false publication and wrongly accuse the founder of the church.
Justice Adegbehingbe said Abiodun was found guilty of committing perjury which is punishable under section 118 of criminal code, laws of Ondo state.
The judge said although Pastor Abiodun was guilty of fourteen years imprisonment but tempered justice with mercy by jailing him for two years due to aged parents and children.
” The first defendant is hereby sentenced to two years imprisonment, ” the judge ruled.
The second defendant was discharged and acquitted as the court said the investigation conducted by the police on his involvement in the matter was shoddy.
The prosecuting counsel, Mr Kayode Dare expressed satisfaction on the judgement.
Dare said the court had vindicated Pastor Gbenga Akinbiyi and other members of his church as it concerned burying of placentas on the altar.