The Ogun state Police Command on Tuesday arrested one Babatunde Olakunle, the pastor of Christ Crusaders’ Deliverance Ministry and a church worker, Adewale Babalola at Matogun, in the Lambe area of the state, after the corpses of two missing children were found in the church premises, The Punch reports.
Residents were thrown into shock after the police recovered the bodies of a six-year-old primary 2 pupil, Ayegbo Isaac, and Innocent Ayomide, 4, a Nursery 1 pupil after they were declared missing on Sunday.
The deceased’s parents are neighbours. Ayomide’s mother was said to have dropped him with Isaac’s mother to look after him while she made a trip to the Republic of Benin on Friday.
The children, after taking their lunch on Sunday, were playing outside Isaac’s residence, which was opposite the church, when they reportedly went missing.
Following their disappearance, Isaac’s father, Abiodun Ayegbo, was said to have reported at the Agbado Police Division on the same day, but he was told to come back after 24 hours, which he did.
According to him, “Ayomide was my friend’s son and he was brought to my wife when his mother traveled.
“She did not take him along because of his school because she would spend about six months there.
“They (Isaac and Ayomide) came back with my wife from church on Sunday and she gave them food; after eating, they went playing around the house. It was my grandmother who raised the alarm when she did not see them. I was told on the telephone to come home when they could not be found.
“I was called this morning (Tuesday) from the station and on getting there, the policemen took me to Christ Crusaders’ Deliverance Ministry, where their corpses were recovered,” Mr. Ayegbo said.
Ayegbo’s brother, Kunle Ayegbo, said he found the slippers Isaac wore on the day he went missing inside a car on the church premises.
He said, “About eight pairs of sandals were also found inside a bus, where their corpses were recovered.”
According to him, the discovery made him sense that something had gone amiss and urged the police to thoroughly investigate the matter to unravel those responsible for the dastardly act.
“The police initially wanted to change the fact that the children were found dead on the church premises, but we stood our grounds.
“I took some pictures in the church but we were not allowed to take the picture of the children. I found Isaac’s slippers inside a car and about eight other sandals in a bus.
“I suspect foul play and want this case to be properly investigated and the culprits brought to book.
“Some boys in the community nearly set the church on fire. The policemen and I had to calm them down. We want justice on this matter,” he said.
Meanwhile, Ayomide’s father, Nouanti Innocent, passed out when the news of his son’s death was broken to him and his wife is yet to be informed of the incident.
Confirming the incident, the state Police spokesperson, DSP Muyiwa Adejobi, said the pastor of the church, Babatunde Olakunle, and a church worker, Adewale Babalola, have been arrested.
“We recovered two corpses on the church premises.
“The corpses have been deposited in a mortuary for autopsy.
“We have commenced our investigation. The pastor of the church and a church worker were arrested,” the spokesperson noted.
Speaking on behalf of the church, a pastor at the headquarters of the church in the Akute area of the state, Mr. Yemi Adebisi said the incident was still a mystery as there were guards manning the premises round the clock.
Adebisi said, “The corpses were discovered around 11pm when some church members wanted to sleep inside the bus. We are having a five-day vigil. They alerted the pastor and he called me immediately.
“We have reported the matter to the police. The vehicle where the corpses were found belongs to the church and it has been out of order for years. People usually sleep inside it.
“There are guards there all day and all night. I can’t understand the mystery surrounding it.
“It was a strange occurrence and it has destabilized everybody. It is a major challenge to the church,” Adebisi lamented.