The General Overseer of the Whole Bible Believer Church, Ondo state, and four others have been docked at an Akure Magistrate’s Court over the alleged kidnapping of his church members.
They include David Anifowose, 64, Josiah Peter, 49, Stephen Olawole, 51, Blessing John, 60, and Gbenga Ayembo, 56.
They were arraigned on a 10-count charge bordering on kidnapping and unlawful labor.
The pastors however pleaded not guilty to the charges.
Police prosecutor Augustine Omhenimhen, told the court that the pastors conspired together to commit a felony with kidnapping.
Omhenimhen said the accused persons unlawfully imprisoned the children of Elizabeth Reuben and prevented their parents to have access to them.
He added that they also took custody and harbored the wife and children of one Patrick Olaniyan and blocked access to them.
The accused persons, according to him also unlawfully lured and harbored one Priscilla Olorunyomi and prevented her from embarking on her educational pursuit.
Omhenimhen said the accused persons unlawfully deprived the church members of their freedom against their will and also placed them in a dehumanizing environment which made them prone to diseases.
The accused persons were also accused of assaulting, resisting, and willfully obstructing Inspector Rotimi Ogunji while on lawful duty.
They were also charged with unlawfully taking away or underaged girls from the protection of their parents without their permission.
Omhenimhen said this contravened and was punishable under Section 225, 361, 364 (2), 365, 365(2), 516 of the Criminal Code Cap, 37. Volume 1, Laws of Ondo State, 2006.
The defense counsel, Oladele Ayoola prayed the court not to remand the accused persons in order to file the bail application.
In the trial Chief Magistrate O.R Yakubu in his ruling ordered that the accused persons be remanded in police custody.
He, thereafter, adjourned the case till July 8, 2022, for the court, DPP to advise on the remand application
Recall that last week Saturday, police detectives rescued 77 worshippers alleged to have been hypnotized and locked up at the church dungeon located in the Valentino area in the town.
The church members were kept in the dungeon in readiness for the second coming of Jesus Christ in September as prophesied by the Assistant Pastor of the church, Peter Josiah