James Sowole in Akure
Magistrate Charity Adeyanju of Magistrate Court 2, Oke Eda, Akure, Ondo State yesterday walked out journalists that came to cover the resumed trial of the founder of Sotitobire Miracle Chapel, Prophet Babatunde Alfa and six other members of the church.
This is as the Ondo State Police Command yesterday confirmed the arrest of a self-acclaimed abductor of the one-year-old boy, Gold Kolawole at the church located on, Solagbade Street, Oshinle Quarters, Akure, the Ondo State capital, on the 10th of November, 2019.
Alfa and six other members of his church, were being prosecuted over the missing boy in his church.
While journalists and other people in the court were waiting for the court to resume sitting, the Police Prosecutor, Inspector Uloh Goodluck came to where journalists were already seated and ordered them to vacate their seats without giving any reason.
Not satisfied with the directive, the journalists protested and which made the police inspector to enter into the Magistrate inner chamber.
Few minutes after, the Magistrate came into the courtroom, went straight to where journalists were seated and ordered everybody on the seat to vacate.
Shortly after the journalists left the courtroom, the prophet was brought into the court premises alongside six workers of his church amidst heavy security at exactly 9:27a.`m.
Meanwhile, Adeyanju, who adjourned the case till February 5, 2020, ordered that Alfa should remain at the Olokuta Correctional Facility pending the arrival of the legal advice from the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP).
Alfa and six other members of his church were facing seven count charges bordering on conspiracy, kidnapping and felony.
The Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), for the command, Mr. Femi Joseph, who confirmed the arrest of the suspect, Elike Chibuzor 39, who claimed that the baby was in his custody in Akure.
THISDAY gathered that the self-confessed abductor was reportedly nabbed in Port Harcourt, Rivers State by police detectives who tracked him down to Imo State before he fled to Port Harcourt where he was arrested, this week.
The man was said to have sent a text message to the phone of the founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel, ( a.k.a University of Prayer), Prophet Alfa Babatunde who had been remanded after he was arraigned in court and confessed he was the one that abducted the baby.
Olusola Oke, counsel to Alfa Babatunde who disclosed the arrest of the man to journalists, said the arrest of the abductor of the child had thrown up hidden revelations on the allegations, claims and counter claims against his client and activities of his church and all sorts of rumours and insinuations about the missing child.
Oke said; “On December 14, 2019, Prophet Alfa Babatunde received a text message on his phone from one Adamu who claimed to have abducted Gold Kolawole from the premises of Sotitobire church for the purpose of setting the prophet up.
“The full text read thus; ‘Attention: I am adamu, this is to inform u that I am responsible for snatching of the 1yrs kolawole, we where sent by 2 man of God here in Akure and was paid some cash to set the prophet up. Call me now for more'(sic)
“It was based on the above text message that detectives from the state police command tracked the phone line and traced the sender to Imo state, but he was eventually nabbed in Port Harcourt, Rivers state where he fled to. He is currently helping the police on their investigation on the missing boy.
“Let me also tell you this very important message; the police are close on the perpetrators of this drastic act, and I can assure you that the outcome will shock everyone, and it will shake the whole structure of this city to its foundation.”
Oke however, appealed to the people of the state to keep their peace and allow the law enforcement agents to conclude their investigations on the matter, adding that the outcome will surely take many by surprise.