Appeal Court Grants Celestial Pastor, Israel Ogundipe, Post-Conviction Bail

April 3, 2021
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Israel Ogundipe, shepherd-in-charge of Celestial Church of Christ, Global Genesis Parish, Lagos, has been granted post-conviction bail by a Lagos state court of appeal.

A Lagos state high court convicted Ogundipe of defrauding Olaide Williams-Oni, a UK-based woman, of N17 million, according to News Direct.

The pastor had been charged with seven counts of obtaining by stealing, inducing delivery of money by false pretense, unlawful conversion of property, and forgery since 2011.

On two counts, he was found guilty and sentenced to one year in prison.

Ogundipe, on the other hand, had returned to court to request that he be released on bail pending the outcome of his sentence appeal. The clergyman’s appeal was based on his poor health.

The pastor’s application for bail was denied by Olabisi Akinlade, an Ikeja high court judge, and he was ordered to continue serving his sentence at the Kirikiri correctional center.

Ogundipe, who was dissatisfied with the high court’s decision, asked the court of appeal to overrule the high court and grant him bail through his lawyer, Babatunde Ogala.

Ogala claimed that his client is diabetic and that he could no longer adhere to a strict diet or receive constant specialized medical care while incarcerated.

He claimed Ogundipe’s health had deteriorated to the point where he appeared “gaunt.”

“There are criteria for granting a convict bail,” Abdullahi Bayero, speaking on behalf of a three-member panel of justices, said in delivering the ruling. These requirements include being a first-time offender or having a serious health condition.”

“The applicant seeking bail pending an appeal before the court is a first-time offender who has also demonstrated to the court that he suffers from hypertension, peptic ulcer, unending malaria, and diabetes, all of which are serious health problems,” Bayero said.

“As a result, he has been granted bail in the sum of N2 million, with two sureties in the same amount. The sureties must have landed property on Lagos Island with an original Lagos state government certificate of occupancy.

“The sureties must deposit these papers, as well as their passport photos, with the court of appeal’s deputy registrar.”

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