The Ondo State Command of the Nigeria Police Force is grilling Pastor David Anifowose, the spiritual head of a church in the Valentino area of the state, for allegedly kidnapping church members, mostly children.
Security operatives on Friday night rescued many children allegedly kidnapped and kept in a church basement in the Valentino Area of Ondo town, headquarters of Ondo West Local Government Area of Ondo State.
Information made available to journalists earlier said the children, numbering over 40, were locked up in an underground cell in the church after allegedly being kidnapped.
In a viral video, the children who reportedly could not remember their names were driven to the police station by security operatives in a patrol car.
“There are kidnapped children recovered in the underground cell of a church in Valentino Area of Ondo,” a voice was heard saying in one of the viral videos online.
Subsequent reports emerging, however, revealed that the kidnapped victims were 77 in total. The victims include 25 children and 52 adults, making a total of 77 people.
Speaking at the police headquarters along Igbatoro Akure, the arrested clergyman, Anifowose, said he received the instruction from God that he should camp the members until Christ’s second coming.
“I was the one that received the instruction from God that the people can stay in the church and wait for his second coming. And my members were waiting for the second coming of Jesus when the policemen invaded the church and arrested us,” Anifowose said.
One of the church members interrogated at the police headquarters said she joined the church after seeing that her parents were leading her away from serving God.
“My parents are not attending the church again. When we left our former church, they usually stayed at home, and before then, I was not comfortable with the Bible teaching of the church.
“I later joined this church because my parent is leading me away from God, and I want to make heaven. I love the way the church followed Jesus and the way they hold on to Christ,” the 24 years old university graduate Olasunkami Olafisoye reportedly said.