Five pastors of the Whole Bible Believer Church, Ondo, have been remanded in custody for alleged kidnapping by an Ondo State Magistrates’ Court sitting in Akure, the state capital.
The defendants identified as David Anifowose, 64; Josiah Peter, 49; Stephen Olawole, 51; Blessing John, 60 and Ayembo Gbenga, 56, were arraigned in court for allegedly keeping 77 people at the basement of the church.
The members who were waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ on the instruction of the Assistant Pastor, Peter Josiah, reportedly stopped schooling and working and were living in the church, abandoning their homes.
The Pastors who were slammed with 10 count charges bordering on kidnapping and unlawful habour, pleaded bot guilty to them.
Speaking in court, the police prosecutor, Augustine Omhenimhen who said that the pastors conspired together to commit felony with kidnapping, added that the defendants unlawfully imprisoned the children of one Elizabeth Reuben and prevented their parents from having access to them.
He said the offence contravened and was punishable under Sections 225, 361, 364 (2), 365, 365(2), 516 of the Criminal Code Cap, 37. Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State, 2006.
The defence counsel, Oladele Ayoola however asked the court not to remand the accused persons as they want to apply for bail.
The Magistrate, O.R Yakubu, ordered that the accused persons be remanded in police custody and adjourned the case till July 18, 2022 for the Director, Public Prosecution, to advise the court on the remand application.