An Ondo State High Court has sentenced the Founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel, Pastor Samuel Babatunde, also known as Alfa Babatunde, to life imprisonment over the “disappearance” of a one-year-old boy, Gold Kolawole, in his church.
The little boy was abducted by an unknown person during a church service at the children section of Sotitobire Praising Chapel, located at Oshinle Quarters, Akure, the state capital, in November 2019, and the whereabouts of the boy was never known.
Following the disappearance of the boy, Babatunde was arrested, alongside seven other members of the church, and was arraigned before a magistrates’ court on six counts.The case was later transferred to the state High Court.
Delivering judgement on Tuesday, Justice Olusegun Odusola convicted the defendants, having found them guilty of two counts of kidnapping, and aiding and abetting to kidnap “based on the circumstantial evidence” presented by the prosecution.
The judge also condemned in strong terms the complicity, compromise, and lackadaisical attitude of the Ondo State Police Command after Gold got missing which also led the burning of Sotitobire Church.