Metro & Crime

Missing child: Sotitobire opens defence

Trial of the founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel, Prophet Babatunde Alfa, over the disappearance of a oneyear- old boy, Gold Kolawole, from his church last year, resumed yesterday with the prophet opening his defence. Opening the defence before the trial judge, Justice Olusegun Odusola, Prophet Alfa’s counsel, Olusola Oke, announced to the court that 20 witnesses would give testimony for him and six other defendants to absolve them of complicity in the disappearance of Gold. The lead prosecutor and Commissioner for Justice in Ondo State, Adekola Olawoye, said the prosecution would not tolerate any attempt to waste time. Three witnesses were listed to go through examination and crossexamination on the first day of defence. The first witness to give testimony was Evangelist Bisola Alfa, the prophet’s wife who said her husband showed concern and took action to find the missing boy before he became a guest of the Department of State Services (DSS), contrary to insinuations.

But under cross-examination by Olawoye, Mrs. Bisola Alfa said she had always put her wards in children’s department though a statement of the head of that depart ment, and 3rd defendant, Margaret Oyebola, stated otherwise. Also, while being crossexamined, Bisola said her husband never told her he suspected anybody of complicity in the case but a statement by the prophet already tendered as exhibit said he suspected the 4th defendant, Grace Ogunjobi, of a foul-play in the incident. The second witness was a pastor in the church, Oluwasiji Olaniyi, who said they all prayed in the church overnight the day the baby got missing. Oluwasiji said the following day, Prophet Alfa confronted Gold’s father and accused him of knowing the whereabouts of his son which made his wife to flare up and vowed to stab him if he did not produce the toddler. Babatunde and his co-defendants are standing trial on a three-count charge to include conspiracy to aid and abet kidnapping, kidnapping and destroying evidence. The case was adjourned till Monday, June 29, 2020 for continuation of defence.

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