Ondo missing child: Police nab alleged abductor
Ondo State Police Command has declared that the self-acclaimed abductor of a one-year-old missing boy, Gold Kolawole, whose mysterious whereabouts led to mob action on Sotitobire Praising Chapel and several deaths last month, is in its custody.
The state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Mr. Femi Joseph, confirmed this yesterday in Akure, revealing that a 39 years old suspect, Mr. Elike Chibuzor, claimed to have the missing baby in his custody in Akure.
Though the police boss refuted the reports trailing the arrest of the suspect, whom he said would be arraigned in court on Monday for false information and pretense to defraud the public.
For the record, Kolawole was declared missing during a church service at the chapel on November 10, 2019, leading to razing down of the church by angry mobs some weeks after.
The church was attacked on December 18, 2019, due to a rumour that the corpse of the missing child was exhumed from the church altar; and subsequent trial of the founder, Prophet Alfa Babatunde and other members of the church.
Prophet Babatunde and six other members of Sotitobire Miracle Centre had been remanded over the matter, while Chubuzor was said to have confessed that two popular clergymen asked him to kidnap Kolawole so as to blackmail Prophet Babatunde.
Speaking on the self-acclaimed abductor in police custody, Joseph revealed that, “What we have in our custody now is a self-confessed scammer and serial fraudster, one Chibuzor Elike, 39years, of Etche town in Cross River, who wanted to take advantage of a bad situation to defraud the people.”
According to him, “The man, who said he heard about the kidnap of young Gold via the social media confessed that he actually called some people and sent some text messages where he stated that he had Kolawole Gold in his custody and will Only release him after collecting 800 thousand naira.
“He also confessed that he was not sent by anyone to implicate Pastor Babatunde Alpha of Sotitobire Church as earlier stated in his numerous calls and text messages.
“Finally he said that he was just looking for a cheap way to make money as he knew nothing about the kidnap or the whereabouts of the little boy.”
Meanwhile, there was mild drama at the Court 2 of the Oke-Eda Magistrates’ Court, Akure, earlier as journalists, who were covering the ongoing trial of Prophet Babatunde were chased out of the court by Magistrate Charity Adeyanju.
The Police Prosecutor, Inspector Uloh Goodluck, who was attached to the court, ordered the already seated journalists to vacate their seats without any cogent reason, but was resisted by the newsmen.
The journalists argued that the prosecutor lacked such power to stop them from covering the court proceedings and he stormed into the chamber to convince the Magistrate on the eviction of the newsmen.
While the journalists were awaiting the commencement of the proceeding, Magistrate Adeyanju walked into the courtroom and ordered all journalists in the courtroom to vacate their seats.
Shortly after journalists were unceremoniously chased out, the Prophet was brought into the court premises alongside six workers of his church amidst heavy security at exactly 9:27 am.
Magistrate Adeyanju gave no explanation for her action, but ruled that Prophet Babatunde should remain at the Olokuta Correctional Facility till February 5, 2020, pending the hearing of the legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
It is worthy of mention that Prophet Babatunde, alongside six others, is facing six counts of felony, conspiracy and kidnapping of Kolawole in his church on November 10, 2019. He first appeared in court on December 23, 2019 and was remanded at the Correctional Facility.
Sequel to court order yesterday, the Prophet and others will continue to be in detention of Olokuta Correctional Service Facility, Akure pending the issuance of hearing notice.
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