There was pandemonium in Ondo State as the pastor of a pentecostal church, David Anifowoshe, was arrested by the police for allegedly abducting more than 77 people, including children in a dungeon in his church.
Anifowoshe, who is the pastor of Whole Bible Deliverance Church, located in Valentino Area of Ondo West LGA of the state, where some people in the neighbourhood raised an alarm.
According to sources in the area, the victims were found in an underground apartment of the church on Friday evening. He was said to have kidnapped them there for suspicious reasons.
But The Guardian gathered that the pastor and his assistant camped the victims; 54 adults and 23 children, in the church under the pretence that they are waiting for the second coming of Jesus Christ.
Parents of the children were said to have forcefully mobilised themselves to the church, inviting the police to arrest the pastor and his assistant. Some of the children and their parents were also said to be attending the church prior to the incident.
The sources noted that the police promptly stepped into the situation to douse the tension by arresting the culprit and other members of the church sequel to complaints of some parents who reported the case to the police in Ondo town.
In a 40 seconds video that went viral, the children were seen in a patrol vehicle of the police who took them to the police station.
“They have kidnapped children found in the underground cell of a church in the Valentino Area of Ondo. The pastor and some members of the church have been arrested and were also in the patrol van of the police,” a voice said in the video.
The pastor, his assistant, and those in police custody in Ondo were moved to the state police headquarters in Akure, the state capital.
Ondo State Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), Funmilayo Odunlami, who confirmed the incident while briefing journalists in Akure, said the parents raised the alarm and the police sprang into action.
Odunlami, who also urged the people to remain calm, added that the command had begun proper investigation into the matter and the mystery behind the crime would be unraveled.