By Deji Adebayo, Akure
Tears on the faces of the members of the Sotitobire Praising Chapel as an Akure High Court sentenced their spiritual father, Prophet Babatunde Alfa, to life imprisonment over the missing a boy, Gold Kolawole in the church last year.
Alfa was sentenced after 11 months of legal battle over the mysterious disappearance of a year old boy, Gold Kolawole from the church.
Also, five workers of the church were jailed alongside the founder as they were found guilty of the two-count charges of conspiracy and aiding and abetting kidnapping preferred against them.
The workers convicted along with the church founder were: Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Egunjobi Motunrayo and Esther Kayode.
Justice Olusegun Odusola, in his judgement that lasted for over five hours, held that, the accused were convicted based on the circumstantial evidence presented against them by the prosecution.
Justice Odusola condemned in strong terms the complicity, connivance and compromise of the Ondo State Police Command in the missing child saga.
Odusola said the lackadaisical attitude of Prophet Alfa showed his involvement in the disappearance of Gold Kolawole from his church in November last year.
In separate rulings, Prophet Alfa and the five church workers were sentenced to seven years imprisonment on count one, which bordered on conspiracy to commit felony.
While the Judge handed down life imprisonment on count two bordering on Aiding and Abetting kidnapping contrary to and punishable under the Section 5 of the Ondo State Anti-kidnapping and Anti-Abduction law 2010.
However, the 7th defendant, Peter Anjorin, was discharged and acquitted for lack of substantial evidence from the prosecution.
Anjorin was accused of destroying the evidence document which is contrary to and punishable under Section 123 of the criminal code law of Ondo State 2006.
Justice Odusola also struck out an application by Prophet Alfa’s counsel, Olusola Oke, seeking to vacate his order that he should be investigated.
Remember the Judge had earlier ordered that Oke be investigated by the DSS following some allegations leveled against him by the Attorney General and Commissioner for Justice of Ondo state, Adekola Olawoye.
Recall that Sotitobire church was burnt down last November by angry mob after Gold’s disappearance.
Daily Metro News gathered that members of the church had an all night vigil ahead of Tuesday’s judgment but were hold to their faith as their founder had been sentenced to life imprisonment.