Conviction: Appeal Court Admits Televangelist, ‘Genesis’ To Bail
Story By Gbenga Ogunbufunmi
Respite came the way of the popular televangelist and Head of Genesis Parish of Celestial Church of Christ, Evangelist Israel Ogundipe, as the Appeal Court of Lagos Division, today, granted him bail pending his appeal, filed before the court.
It would be recalled that the popular Celestial Evangelist was sentenced to a year imprisonment by Justice Olabisi Akinlade of an Ikeja High Court of Lagos, for defrauding a woman of N11 million, last year November.
Justice Akinlade had also refused Genesis’ application for bail pending appeal.
Dissatisfied with Justice Akinlade verdicts, Genesis through his counsel, Mr. Babatunde K. Ogala, a Senior Advocate of Nigeria (SAN) approached the Appeal Court, for his bail pending appeal and application to quash the conviction.
In urging the Appeal Court for his client’s bail, Ogala (SAN) told the court that his client is a first time offender and has never been convicted by any court in either in Nigeria or abroad.
He argued that, the televangelist is suffering from diabetes and could no longer follow a strict diet and the constant specialised medical attention in custody and this has taken a toll on his health making him to be gaunt in appearance.
Ogala (SAN) also informed the appellate court that prior to his incarceration, Genesis was suffering from hypertension, peptic ulcer and unending malaria which had worsened his health challenges since his November 18 conviction. Adding that his client did not jump bail while his trial lasted for 11 (eleven) years at the lower court.
He urged the court to grant his client bail either conditionally or unconditionally pending his appeal
Delivering ruling on the application today, Justice Abudullhai Muhammed Bayero held that “there are criteria for granting a convict bail. These criteria include, the applicant must be a first offender or having a serious health conditions.
“The applicant seeking bail pending appeal before the court is a first offender and he has also show to court that he is having hypertension, peptic ulcer, unending malaria and diabetic, which serious health conditions.
“He is consequently, admitted to bail in the sum of N2 million with two surties in like sum. The surties must have landed property in Lagos Island with original Certificate of Occupancy from Lagos State Government.
“The sureties are to deposit these documents along with their passport photographs with the Deputy Registrar of the Court of Appeals” Justice Bayero held.