Tuesday, 24 December 2019

DSS Arraigns Popular Ondo Pastor Over Missing Boy,After Church Was Burnt By Irate Mob

An Ondo State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Akure, on Monday, remanded in a correctional facility the pastor of the Sotitobire Praising Chapel, Alfa Babatunde, over the disappearance of a one-year-old boy from his church.

The victim, Gold Kolawole, was allegedly abducted by unknown persons from the church during a Sunday service in November.

The development attracted violent reactions from residents of Akure and the church was set ablaze by some irate youths in protest against the boy’s disappearance and the alleged lackadaisical attitude of the police to investigate the incident.

During the violence that followed last week, three people lost their lives, including a policeman, whose identity has not been revealed.

Many houses, vehicles and other properties belonging to the church were also burnt by the angry mob.

Apart from Babatunde, the prosecutor listed other defendants as Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Motunrayo Egunjobi, Esther Kayode and Peter Anjorin.

Babatunde and six members of the church were arraigned before the court by the Department of State Services on two counts of felony to wit; kidnapping and aiding kidnapping, while the seventh defendant, Anjorin was charged with destroying evidence that could aid the investigation.

The charges read, “That you, Prophet Alfa Babatunde, Omodara Olayinka , Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Motunrayo Egunjobi, Esther Kayode, Peter Anjorin and others now at large, on November 10, 2019, around 11.45am at the Sotitobire Praising Chapel, No. 48 Solagbade Street, Oshinle Quarter, Akure, Ondo State, in the Akure Magisterial District, did conspire together to commit felony to wit; kidnapping, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 516 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37, Vol. 1, Laws of Ondo State, 2006.

“That you, Prophet Alfa Babatunde, Omodara Olayinka , Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Motunrayo Egunjobi, Esther Kayode, Peter Anjorin and others now at large, on November 10, 2019, around 11.45am at the Sotitobire Praising Chapel, No. 48 Solagbade Street, Oshinle Quarter, Akure, Ondo State, in the Akure Magisterial District, did aid the kidnap of one Gold Kolawole, 13 months, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 5 (I) of the Ondo State Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Law. 2010.
DSS

“That you, Peter Anjorin, on November 10, 2019, around 11.45am at the Sotitobire Praising Chapel, No. 48 Solagbade Street, Oshinle Quarter, Akure, Ondo State, in the Akure Magisterial District, did destroy evidence by secretly taking away the vital evidence that would have aided the speedy investigation in respect of the missing child, Gold Kolawole, thereby committing an offence contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the Criminal Code, Cap 37 Vol. I, Laws of Ondo State, 2006.”

After arguments by the prosecuting and defence counsel, Mr Joshua Dada and Mr Olusola Oke, respectively, on the bail application of the defendants, the magistrate, Mrs Charity Adeyanju, ordered them to be remanded in the Olokuta Correctional Centre, Akure.

She adjourned the case till January 17, 2020, to enable the DSS to conclude investigation into the matter.

The court also ruled that the defendants should be allowed to have access to medical treatment while in custody.

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