Adewale Momoh, Akure
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 has been sentenced to life imprisonment.
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 circumstancial 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 was 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.