Four persons were on Wednesday remanded in prison for allegedly murdering a police sergeant while participating in a mob attack on the Sotitobire Miracle Centre in Akure on December 18.
The Chief Magistrate Court sent Yusuf Owa, Adebayo Adeyemi, Adeleye Omowumi, and Adu Babatunde to the Olokuta Correction Correctional Centre on charges of murder, arson, malicious damage and stealing at Sotitobire Church.
It will be recalled that a mob razed the church following rumours that the body of a missing child, Gold Kolawola, was exhumed from the church’s altar.
The report turned out to be false, but the uproar resulted in the burning of the church and the killing of a policeman, Sheidu Ocheopo, a sergeant, and another civilian who were trying to prevent the destruction of church property.
The judge, Charity Adeyanju, ordered the remand of the defendants, pending when the motion on notice was heard, and adjourned the case till Monday, January 20.
Meanwhile, the founder of the church, Alfa Babatunde, will have his day in court on Friday over allegations of his involvement in the kidnap of the one-year-old from his church on November 10, 2019.
He was arrested by officials of the State Security Service after the parents of the missing child petitioned the agency, alleging his complicity in the disappearance of the child at his church in November.
He was arraigned in December at the Oke Eda Chief Magistrate Court in Akure, the Ondo State capital, and was subsequently remanded at the Olokuta Correctional Centre, in Akure.
The court will consider his bail application on Friday.
The 42-year-old self-styled prophet was earlier arraigned along with six of his church workers on a three-count charge.
One of the suspects, Mr Anjorin, was accused of destroying and secretly taking away vital evidence that could have aided speedy investigation in respect of the missing child, an offence said to be contrary and punishable under section 123 of the criminal code and cap 37 laws of Ondo State.
On November 10, 2019, Gold was declared kidnapped from the children’s department of the church shortly after his mother, Modupe Kolawole, registered him for care under the supervision of 14 officials during a Sunday service.