Connect with us


Appeal Court frees Ondo prophet jailed for life over missing child



Sotitobire Miracle Centre general overseer, six others docked for alleged abduction

A Court of Appeal sitting in Akure, the Ondo State capital, on Friday, discharged and acquitted a prophet, Alfa Babatunde, who was sentenced to life imprisonment over the disappearance of a one-year-old boy, Gold Kolawole, at his church.

The Judgement delivered by Justice Hamma Barka set aside the judgement of an Ondo State High Court which had sentenced Babatunde to life imprisonment.

Babatunde, who founded Sotitibire Praising Chapel in Akure, was arrested by officials of the Department of State Services (DSS) after the one-year-old boy disappeared during a church service in November 2019.

The prophet was later taken to court along with six members of the church over allegations that they conspired to kidnap the boy, and have since been remanded at the Olokuta Correctional Facility in the state capital while the case continued.

In October 2020, Justice Olusegun Odusola of the High Court in Akure sentenced the prophet and five others to life imprisonment.

READ ALSO: Appeal Court discharges Alao-Akala, two others on N11.5b corruption charges

However, the seventh person was discharged and acquitted as the court held that the prosecution counsel could not prove any case against him.

The defendants were sentenced on two counts of kidnapping, as well as aiding and abetting to kidnap, based on the evidence provided by the prosecutor.

Those charged along with Prophet Babatunde were Olayinka Omodara, Margaret Oyebola, Grace Ogunjobi, Motunrayo Egunjobi, Esther Kayode and Peter Anjorin.

Meanwhile, after serving four months of his jail sentence, Babatunde approached the Court of Appeal to prove his innocence in the crime.

Justice Barka set aside the judgement of the high court on the ground that the evidence presented was not strong enough to convict the prophet.

Join the conversation


Support Ripples Nigeria, hold up solutions journalism

Balanced, fearless journalism driven by data comes at huge financial costs.

As a media platform, we hold leadership accountable and will not trade the right to press freedom and free speech for a piece of cake.

If you like what we do, and are ready to uphold solutions journalism, kindly donate to the Ripples Nigeria cause.

Your support would help to ensure that citizens and institutions continue to have free access to credible and reliable information for societal development.

Donate Now