By: Oluwatosin Adesola
It was like a drama and movie for a popular Akure Prophet Alfa Babatunde of Sotitobire miracle centre, Akure whose his long journey to life imprisonment started almost one year ago.
Following 11 months of legal tussle over the mysterious disappearance of a 13-month-old boy, Gold Kolawole from Sotitobire Praising Chapel in Akure, the Ondo State capital, the founder of the church, Prophet Babatunde Alfa was today sentenced to life imprisonment.
His church members who came to the court premises amidst tight security, when sighted by SUNSHINETRUTH crying profusely as the cleric was being taken to the Olokuta prison, Akure.
Prophet Alfa was sentenced alongside five workers of his church on a two-count charge of conspiracy as well as aiding and abetting kidnapping.
According to the trial judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola of the Ondo State High Court, the accused persons were convicted based on the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution.
During the five hours judgment, Justice Odusola who condemned in strong terms the complicity, connivance and compromise of the Ondo State Police Command in the whole saga stated that the lackadaisical attitude of Prophet Alfa was a pointer to his involvement in the disappearance of the missing child, Gold Kolawole from his church in November last year.
On the count one charge, Prophet Alfa and the five church workers were sentenced to seven years imprisonment over conspiracy to commit felony to with aiding and abetting kidnapping while life imprisonment were handed over to them on the second count charge for aiding and abetting kidnapping contrary to and punishable under the Section 5 of the Ondo State Anti-kidnapping and Anti-Abduction law 2010.
The other convicted church worker are, Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola ,Grace Ogunjobi, Egunjobi Motunrayo and Esther Kayode.
Meanwhile, the 7th defendant, Peter Anjorin was discharged and acquitted after lack of substantial evidence on the part of the prosecution.
Anjorin had been accused of destroying evidence contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the criminal code law of Ondo State 2006.
Earlier, Justice Odusola struck out an application by Prophet Alfa’s counsel to Olusola Oke seeking to vacate his order that he should be investigated.
The judge at last sitting had ruled that Mr Oke be investigated by the Department of State Services, DSS following some allegations raised by the state Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice, Adekola Olawoye.
Justice Odusola, however, at today’s sitting struck out the application dated 29 September 2020 after Mr Banjo Ayenakin who stood in for Olusola Oke moved a motion for adjournment of hearing of the application to enable him file his counter affidavit to the state’s reply.
State counsel, John Joshua dada said he was ready with the case, but Mr Ayenakin insisted on an adjournment and withdrew from the case when the judge did not budge on his request.
Justice Odusola therefore struck out the application since there was no longer an applicant and proceeded to deliver judgement in the trail of Prophet Alfa and the other church members.
Prophet Alfa who is the founder of the popular church which is located at Oshinle quarters area of Akure, the state capital was accused by the parents of the missing child over the mysterious disappearance of their son who had not been seen till date.