Ondo Cleric bags life imprisonment

A Cleric identified as Pastor Samuel Babatunde, also known as Alfa Babatunde, the founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel as been sentenced to life imprisonment over the disappearance of a one-year-old boy, Gold Kolawole by an Ondo State High Court.

The boy was reportedly abducted by an unknown person in November last year during the church’s service at the children section of Sotitobire Chapel
located at Oshinle Quarters in Akure, the state capital.

Babatunde was arrested alongside seven other members of the church as the whereabouts of the boy was never known.

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They were arraigned before a magistrates’ court on six counts, the matter was subsequently transferred to the state High Court and as the case continued, the prosecuting and defence counsel argued, with witnesses being called at different court sittings.

In the over five hours judgment, the judge condemned in strong terms the “complicity, connivance and compromise of the Ondo State Police Command” in the matter, adding that the lackadaisical attitude of the cleric was a pointer to his involvement in the disappearance of the missing boy from the church.

Justice Olusegun Odusola delivering his judgement on Tuesday, convicted the defendants and found them guilty on two counts of kidnapping and aiding and abetting to kidnap based on the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution.

On count one, Babatunde and the five church workers were sentenced to seven years’ imprisonment for conspiracy to commit felony, to wit, aiding and abetting to kidnap.

Life imprisonment was pronounced on them on the second count of aiding and abetting kidnapping, contrary to and punishable under Section 5 of the Ondo State Anti-Kidnapping and Anti-Abduction Law 2010.

Other convicts included Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Egunjobi Motunrayo and Esther Kayode.

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