Court remands cleric, 6 others over missing 13-month-old in Akure
An Akure Chief Magistrates’ Court on Monday remanded a 42-year-old cleric, Alfa Babatunde, and six others for allegedly aiding the kidnap of a 13-month-old boy, Gold Kolawole, during a church service at Sotitobire Praising Chapel, Akure.
The other defendants are Omodara Olayinka, 50; Margaret Oyebola, 62; Grace Ogunjobi, 56; Egunjobi Motunrayo, 24; Esther Kayode, 36 and Peter Anjorin, 31.
The Chief Magistrate, Mrs Charity Adeyanju, ordered that the defendants be remanded at Olokuta Correctional Centre pending the outcome of DSS investigation.
Adeyanju adjourned the case till Jan.17 for mention.
The defendants are being tried for conspiracy and for aiding the kidnap of Kolawole.
Earlier, the prosecutor, John Joshua, told the court that the child could not be found during a church service on Nov. 10, at about 11:45am at the church on No. 48, Solagbade Street, Oshinle Quarters in Akure, Ondo State.
Joshua said that one of the defendants allegedly destroyed an evidence in the case that would have aided the speedy investigation of the matter.
He alleged that the offences were contrary to and punishable under Section 516 and 123 of Criminal Code Cap 37, Vol. 1 Laws of Ondo State, 2006.
Besides, he said the offences were contrary to and punishable under Section 5(i) of the Ondo State Anti -kidnapping and Anti -Abduction Law, 2010.
The News Agency of Nigeria (NAN) reports that the cleric had been in custody of the DSS since Dec.8 following the petition written by the parents of the missing boy before his arraignment on Monday at an Akure Chief Magistrates’ Court.
The church was set ablaze by irate youths on Wednesday following unconfirmed reports that the body of the missing boy had been exhumed from the altar of the worship house.
Three persons were said to have been killed during the violence.