The High Court in Soroti has sentenced Bishop Israel Tukei formerly of Lifeline Ministries to a fine of 2 million Shillings or imprisonment for one year.
The sentence was delivered by the Soroti Senior Resident Judge, Henry Peter Adonyo on Friday. The sentence comes a week after Court found the bishop guilty of theft.
Bishop Tukei, now the founder of Light Resurrection Ministries is accused of theft of Church property including land title. He was first acquitted by the Grade One Magistrate, Emmanuel Pirimba but the church appealed the decision. The High Court overturned the ruling after agreeing with all the grounds proving theft as raised by the church.
His battle with Lifeline Ministries started in 2017 when Tukei tendered his resignation. Bishop Tukei’s resignation was shortly followed by the contention over the ownership of property of Lifeline Ministries found in Opiyai, Soroti City West Division.
The ministries founded by Apostle Julius Peter Oyet in 1995 opened both criminal and civil suits against Bishop Tukei. In 2018, the Soroti Chief Magistrate’s court dismissed a civil suit on grounds that it lacked jurisdiction to hear the matter. Last year, the Soroti Grade One Magistrate’s court also acquitted Bishop Tukei of theft but Lifeline Ministries appealed the judgement.
The prelate was convicted on May 25, 2022 but his sentence was postponed to ascertain the status of the land title that had been under Tukei’s custody. The land title had been used as security for acquiring bank loans from Centenary Bank and Vision Fund.
Bishop Tukei paid the cash fine before quickly taking off with his supporters.
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