Pastor Francis Taiwo of the Celestial Church of Christ (CCC) has told the police that he chained, tortured and starved his nineyear- old boy, Korede, for two weeks because the boy was “possessed”. Korede was rescued on Friday by officials of the Nigeria Security and Civil Defence Corps (NSCDC) and policemen attached to the Onipanu Division, Ota where he was reportedly chained in a room at the CCC, Key of Joy Parish, Ajibawo area, Atan-Ota in Ado-Odo/Ota Local Government Area of Ogun State.

After the rescue, the father, Taiwo, reportedly fled. But the state Police Public Relations Officer (PPRO), SP Olumuyiwa Adejobi, said in a statement yesterday that Taiwo was apprehended following a manhunt launched by the command.

The suspect, Adejobi said, was the pastor in charge of the church where he allegedly chained his son. His cruel act was reportedly to punish Korede’s alleged stealing habit. Korede’s stepmother, Mrs. Kehinde Taiwo, was arrested by the police.But barely 48 hours after he escaped, Adejobi announced that Taiwo had been arrested. Though the PPRO did not give details of the arrest, he said the police were assisted by members of the church, who were embarrassed by the action of the pastor.

He said the Assistant Inspector General of Police in charge of Zone 2, Abdulmajid Ali, had ordered that the matter be transferred to the Anti-Human Trafficking and Child Labour Unit of the state command for proper investigation. Adejobi noted that the 40-year-old suspect, who hails from Benin Republic, would be charged to court upon the completion of investigation.

He said: “Pastor Francis Taiwo, who hails from Benin Republic, but born in Ota, Ogun State into the same Celestial Church, was ordained as a pastor in the church in 2012. He was married to two wives before he got married to Kehinde Taiwo, the stepmother to Korede, who is a suspect in the ongoing case with the command.

“Francis, father of five, confirmed that Korede’s mother, Marine Taiwo, who hailed from Delta State, is late and that she had four children for him – two boys and two girls – before she divorced him in 2007, just after she delivered Korede. “According to police investigation, none of Korede’s siblings stays with the pastor. And he confirmed that he chained Korede because he felt he is possessed and he is not comfortable with his stealing habit.”

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