Temitope Kolawole, father of the one-year-old boy, Gold Eniola Kolawole, who went missing at a popular church, Sotitobire Miracle Centre, in Akure, Ondo State, has testified before a magistrate’s court in the ongoing trial of the suspects.
Kolawole, who appeared before Justice Olusegun Odusola as a star witness in the case on Tuesday, told the court that he only knew Prophet Alfa Babatunde in June 2019 when he went to his church for prayers with his wife, Modupe.
He recalled how the teachers in the children’s department of the church told him that they went to empty trash when his child went missing.
Kolawole added that he was harassed and had his clothes torn by loyalists of the church’s founder.
He noted that he had all his encounters with the pastor and his church members in his statement before the police during an interrogation over his missing child.
At the hearing of the case, the court admitted the written statements of Kolawole at the office of the anti-kidnapping section of the Ondo State Police Command as presented by the defence counsel.
In his ruling, Justice Odusola instructed that the statement made by Kolawole on November 14, 2019 be admitted as evidence.
He said admitting the evidence was in compliance with section 104 of the evidence act and ordered that Prophet Babatunde with the other accused persons be returned to the facility of the Nigeria Correctional Service in Olokuta.
Babatunde and six other members of the church are facing a three-count charge of conspiracy to and abetting kidnap over the disappearance of toddler in the church in 2019.
The other defendants in the ongoing case are Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Egunjobi Moturayo and Esther Kayode.
Justice Odusola adjourned the matter until Wednesday, June 3, for continuation of trial.