Appeal court reserves judgment on Ondo pastor’s life sentence

The Court of Appeal in Akure on Monday reserved judgment in an appeal filed by the founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel, Akure, Babatunde Alfa, against his conviction.

Rita Pemu, the presiding judge, after listening to all the arguments in the suit, reserved judgment to a date that would be communicated to all the parties.

Mr Alfa and five others were sentenced to life imprisonment by the High Court in Akure in October 2020, over one-year-old Gold Kolawole, who went missing in the church in 2019.

The popular prophet went to the Appeal Court to quash the sentence, pleading his innocence in the case. The case suffered a number of setbacks following attempts by the police to muddle it up until it was taken over by the State Security Services.

The Akure community had also reacted violently by burning the prophet’s church located at Oshinle, in Akure, the Ondo State capital.

Parents of the child accused the prophet of masterminding the kidnap of the child in November 2019, having made an attempt to frustrate searches during the incident.

Olusegun Odusola, the judge, in his judgment, convicted the defendants on two-count charges of kidnapping and aiding and abetting to kidnap based on the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution.

Others who were found guilty of the offence are members of his church namely, Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Motunrayo Egunjobi, Esther Kayode, and Peter Anjorin.

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