Men of the Ondo State Police Command have arrested the pastor of The Whole Bible Deliverance Church, Valentino, Ondo State, David Anifowose and his assistant for allegedly abducting over 50 persons, including children.
The arrest followed a complaint lodged by the parents of the victims.
Most of the victims were said to have been locked up in the church as they were told that Jesus would return in September and had to prepare in prayer as they waited for him.
A human rights activist who brought the report to the police, Comrade Onotayo Omolayo, the president, Great Constitutional Right and Justice Forum, said the matter blew open when one of the parents came to report to him.
According to him, the woman claimed she wanted to take her child from the church but she was prevented. “We went to the church but were thoroughly beaten up,” he alleged.
He said they went to the police to report, adding that some of the children have not been going to school.
It was gathered that the children were found in an underground apartment of the church on Friday.
In a viral video, the children were seen in a patrol vehicle of the police, who took them to the police station.
The police public relations officer in the state, Funmilayo Odunlami, who confirmed the incident, said the victims had been taken to the Akure headquarters of the command.
“We urge the good people of Ondo State to be calm as the State Criminal Investigation Department has taken over the case.”
Meanwhile, the Muslim Rights Concern (MURIC) has condemned the action of the pastors and urged the Inspector-General of Police, Usman Alkali Baba to transfer the matter to Abuja to prevent cover-up.
The MURIC director, Prof Ishaq Akintola, in a statement said the case must be transferred to Abuja immediately to avoid local interference by influential people.