Justice Olusegun Odusola of the Ondo State High Court in Akure has sentenced the Founder of Sotitobire.
Prophet Babatunde Alfa, and 6 others of Praising Chapel on Tuesday have been sentenced to life imprisonment over the disappearance of a one-year-old boy on the church premises.
Gold kolawole went missing in the church last year on November 10 during a Sunday service after his mother, Modupe Kolawole, dropped him at the children’s unit of the church.
The prophet was jailed alongside six other defendants: Omodara Olayinka, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Egunjobi Motunrayo, Esther Kayode and Peter Anjorin.
Justice Odusola convicted the defendants having found them guilty of the two-count charge of kidnapping and aiding and abetting to kidnap based on the circumstantial evidence presented by the prosecution.
He also condemned in strong terms the complicity, compromise, and lackadaisical attitude of the Ondo state police command after Gold got missing which also led the burning of Sotitobire Church.
Whether or not the judgement will be appealed by the defendants is still unclear. However, a member of the church who spoke to our correspondent S’Teller on the grounds of anonymity said, she hopes that the decision will be revisited on the ground that the judgement tends to be disproportionate to the circumstancial evidences provided by the prosecutor.
In same vein, some residents have applauded the judgement saying that it will serve as detterrent to those in the business of kidnapping.
The Counsel to the defendants have raised issues with respect to computer based exhibits which were deemed admissible as evidence by Justice Odusola.