Prophet Israel Ogundipe, the convicted Senior Shepherd-in-Charge of the Celestial Church of Christ (Genesis Global), has returned to the church for the first time after he was released on bail.
In a video posted on Instagram by the church on Sunday, the convicted pastor joined members of his church and was seen leading praise and worship.
Ogundipe had on November 18, 2020, been sentenced to one-year imprisonment by Justice Olabisi Akinlade for converting a woman’s property to his personal use and stealing.
The court had found Ogundipe guilty of stealing and unlawful conversion of the property of a London-based architect, Mrs Oladele Williams-Oni.
Ogundipe, who was arraigned on seven counts bordering on obtaining by stealing, inducing delivery of money by false pretences, unlawful conversion of property and forgery, fraudulently collected N14m and £12,000 in various tranches from the complainant between August 30, 2002 and 2005.
The Court of Appeal, Lagos Division, however, granted the popular cleric a post-conviction bail on 1 April on health grounds.
The members of the church erupted in joy when Ogundipe entered the premises, as seen in the video.
Ogundipe, dissatisfied with the High Court’s judgment, approached the appeal court for bail pending the hearing of the appeal and an application to quash the conviction.
Babatunde Ogala (SAN), his counsel, argued the televangelist was diabetic, could no longer follow a strict diet and the constant specialised medical attention in custody, which had taken a toll on his health made him “gaunt in appearance.”