A Chief Magistrate’s Court sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, has sentenced a prophetess, Felicia Oyelade, to two years’ imprisonment for forging land documents and selling same to unsuspecting members of the public.
The 59-year-old prophetess was said to be in charge of the Christ Apostolic Church, Ori Oke Basiri, along Idanre Road, Akure.
She had been standing trial on one count of forgery since 2013 following an allegation that she altered documents showing an agreement between her late husband, Olasunkanmi Oyelade, and the complainant in the matter, Mr. Isaac Babalola.
According to the prosecution counsel, Mr. Adewale Bamisile, the convict altered the original documents to read 12 hectares of land purchased at a cost of N35,000, instead of 7.871 hectares purchased for N25,500 by her late husband in 1977.
The prosecutor had said, “Oyelade’s shady deeds was exposed when she sold a portion of the land around Preston College, along kilometre 4, Akure-Owo Road, Akure, to an unsuspecting buyer with the forged document after the same land had been sold to another person by the rightful owner and complainant in the matter, Mr. Isaac Babalola.”
Oyelade had pleaded not guilty to the charge of forgery levelled against her, saying she was part of the transaction between her husband and Babalola’s family when the land was bought.
She said the documents were found in her husband’s room after the demise of her husband and that she had relied on it to sell the land to the people.
After a plea for leniency because of Oyelade’s “teeming dependants and the church she was leading” by the convicts lawyer, Mr. Dele Ibitayo, the presiding magistrate, Chief Magistrate Olubukola Kuye, ordered that the altered documents be destroyed.
He also stated that the prosecution had proved the case of forgery against the convict beyond reasonable doubt and sentenced her to two years’ imprisonment without an option of fine.