Prophet Samson Ayorinde, General Overseer of the World Evangelism Church Bible Church (WEBIC), Ojota, Lagos is in hot soup. An Ikeja High Court in Lagos, has ruled that the Nigeria Police can arrest him over alleged issuance of a N118 million dud cheque.
Police counsel, Mr Samsideen Adebesin revealed that; “The police received a petition from Aturamu, Adesanya and Smart Link Services alleging that Ayorinde obtained a loan of N30 million from them in August 2016.”
“The loan was for the expansion of the church and Ayorinde had allegedly promised that the loan will be refunded within two months with a 30 per cent interest rate. Not long after the loan was granted to Ayorinde, he travelled out of the country for a medical vacation returning in July 2017.”
“When Ayorinde could not repay the loan, the interest rate was reduced to 22.5 percent as a mark of good gesture. Ayorinde issued dud cheques to the respondents and upon receiving a complaint from the respondents, the police invited him to give a statement as part of their investigation but he did not present himself to the police.”
“Prophet Ayorinde failed to honour the invitation of the police on five occasions had led to the police authorities declaring him wanted.”
Justice Yetunde Adesanya, while delivering a judgment on Monday, December 10, 2018 dismissed Ayorinde’s fundamental rights suit and held that the police could not be restrained from inviting, arresting and detaining the cleric in the course of investigation.
“On the totality of the foregoing, there has been no harassment, intimidation, threat of arrest or detention of the applicants. I must also find and hold that the police cannot be restrained from inviting, arresting (where necessary) and detaining the first and third applicants in the course of its investigation as prescribed by law. “
“Restraining the law enforcement agency from arresting a person alleged to have committed an offence amount to an abuse of judicial power,” the judge said. She however, warned the police not to publish the applicants’ names on any police bulletin or any medium for purpose of declaring them wanted.”
“It should be reasonably assumed that police are now in custody of all the relevant documents which have been exhibited in this application and which required for its investigation. The police should, therefore, hasten its investigation on the criminal complaint of the first to third respondent and bring it to a close, if it has not already done so.”