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Missing cash Pastor accused of stealing €70k in church donations over eight years

At the time of the allegations, Oduntan was pastor of a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (City of David) based at Naas Enterprise Park in Naas.

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Ebenezer Oduntan denies the allegations.

Ebenezer Oduntan denies the allegations.

Ebenezer Oduntan denies the allegations.

These are the first pictures of the pastor accusing of stealing €70,000 of church donations over an eight year period.

Ebenezer Oduntan, of The Close, Curragh Grange, Newbridge, Co Kildare is facing 39 allegations under Section 4 of the Criminal Justice Theft and Fraud Act 2001 dating between 2012 and 2020.

The pastor appeared at Naas District Court on Thursday where he was accused of taking €70,000 from church funds over an eight year period.

Approached by the Sunday World this week, Oduntan said he would not be making any comment.

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The congregation gathered in Naas.

The congregation gathered in Naas.

The congregation gathered in Naas.

 

At the time of the allegations, Oduntan was pastor of a parish of the Redeemed Christian Church of God (City of David) based at Naas Enterprise Park in Naas.

Det Sgt Glen Mackessy, on secondment to the Office of the Director of Corporate Enforcement, gave evidence of arrest, charge and caution of Mr Oduntan at Newbridge Garda Station.

He said the defendant made no comment when the charges were put to him.

The court was told that Mr Oduntan allegedly used the €70,000 for his own personal use.

Judge Desmond Zaidan heard that the church held a number of services a week and had a large membership at one point of up to 100 families.

Mr Oduntan was in control of the church’s finances, which came from donations from church members, the court was told.

Defence solicitor David Powderly said his client was disputing the allegations and would be fully protesting his innocence.

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Pastor Ebenezer Oduntan.

Pastor Ebenezer Oduntan.

Pastor Ebenezer Oduntan.

 

Prosecuting garda Sgt Brian Jacob applied for bail which was granted with strict conditions by Judge Zaidan.

Mr Oduntan must reside at his home address, surrender his passport and not apply for any other travel documents.

The case was adjourned to Naas District Court on November 18 next.

In an ‘about us’ section on its internet page, the Redeemed Christian Church of God (RCCG) says it has a vision to spread the Word of God to the ends of the earth.

It describes itself as a Bible-believing church, where the teaching and a missionary approach emphasise the proper conduct and moral behaviour of people.

The church was founded in 1952 and since then, the church has grown to over 23,000 parishes worldwide.

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