18 Remanded in Prison for Allegedly Destroying Sotitobire Church In Akure - THE NEW DAWN ONLINE

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Thursday, January 16, 2020

18 Remanded in Prison for Allegedly Destroying Sotitobire Church In Akure


No fewer than 18 people have been remanded in prison custody over the destruction of a popular church in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

The suspects were remanded in the custody of Olokuta Correctional Centre for their role in the alleged murder, arson, malicious damage and stealing at Sotitobire Church in the capital city.

TND Online News reports that the church had come under fire after a one-year-old boy, Eniola Gold Kolawole, allegedly went missing from the church. The founder and G.O of the church, Prophet Alfa Babatunde, was accused of complicity in the circumstances that led to Kolawole’s disappearance. Angry youths later set the church ablaze after rumours emerged that the missing child’s corpse was uncovered at its altar. The rumours later turned out to be false.

Now, the police on Wednesday arraigned four young men before Magistrate Charity Adeyanju of an Akure Magistrates’ Court over the case. The four – Yusuf Owa, 27, Adebayo Adeyemi, 22, Adeleye Omowumi, 28, and Adu Babatunde, 27 – brings to 18 the number of suspects charged over the destruction of the church.

The accused were fresh suspects to be remanded in prison as 14 persons were earlier remanded in connection with the crisis, making the total number of 18 suspects at Olokuta Correctional Service centre.

The accused persons are facing a six-count of felony, conspiracy, murder, arson and stealing.

According to the charge sheet, they committed the offence on December 18, 2019 at about 9:45am at Sotitobire Church, Oshinle, Akure, in the Akure Magisterial District.

The alleged offences were said to be contrary to sections 383 and punishable under sections 324, 516,319(1), 443(a), 451 and 390(a).

The defendants were alleged to have killed one Sergeant Sheidu Ocheopo (m) by smashing him to death with tyre rim and stones at Sotitobire Church, Oshinle, while performing his lawful duty.

They were also accused of setting ablaze Sotitobire Church Oshinle and Ajipowo branches, including Police Hilux patrol vehicle, AK47 rifle with breach No, 4777 and some vehicles belonging to individuals valued at N2 millions.

Other items that were set ablaze, according to the charge were; Toyota Siena, Range rover Jeep, Toyota Venza, Toyota Camry and Lexus car valued at N250 million, belonging to Alfa Babatunde Olumoyo.

Also, some church items like rug, amplifier, fans, and other valuables in the church, valued at N600,000 were said to have been stolen.
The Prosecuting Police Officer, Inspector Uloh Goodluck, informed the court of his intention to move a motion on notice for the remands of the defendants at Olokuta, Correctional Service Centre.

Counsel representing the first defendant, Mr. M.O Ojo, and counsel to third and fourth defendants, Mr. Afe Felix, opposed the moving of the motion, drew the attention of the court to the fact that the motion before it was just served in the court, adding that they need some time to file their counter affidavit.

While the counsel representing the second defendant Mr John Olowookere did not oppose to the prosecutor moving his motion for remand.

Magistrate Adeyanju ordered that the defendants be kept at Olokuta Correctional Service Centre, pending when the move of motion on notice for the remand of the defendants.

She adjourned the case till January 20, 2020.

The Sotitobire Church Founder, Alfa Babatunde is expected to appear in court on Thursday for the hearing of his case of alleged kidnapping of one-year-old boy, Gold Kolawole, who got missing in his church in November 2019.

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