Adewale Momoh, Akure
The Court of Appeal, Akure Division has set free the Founder of Sotitobire Praising Chapel located in Akure the state capital, Prophet Babatunde Alfa who was sentenced to life imprisonment by an Ondo State High Court over the disappearance of child in his church.
In the judgment that lasted about one hour, the Presiding Judge, Justice Hammah Barka ruled that the circumstantial evidence the High Court based its judgement on was not enough to convict the 43-year-old prophet.
During the judgment, Justice Barka knocked out the prayer of the counsel to the appellant, Gboyega Awomolo (SAN), who was represented by Akinyemi Omoware, that that Department of State Services (DSS) cannot investigate crime.
On October 6, 2020, Justice Olusegun Odusola of the Ondo State High Court had sentenced Prophet Alfa to life imprisonment over what he described as his complicity in the mysterious disappearance of a 13-month-old boy, Gold Kolawole from his church.
Prophet Alfa was sentenced by the lower court alongside five workers of his church on a two-count charge of conspiracy as well as aiding and abetting kidnapping.
The others convicted church workers who were teachers in the children’s department were: Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Egunjobi Motunrayo and Esther Kayode.
Following his conviction by the lower court, Prophet Alfa approached the Court of Appeal to nullify the life imprisonment judgment.