A prophet with the Celestial Church of Christ, Morogbo parish 1, Badagry, Lagos State, Moses Oloyede, has been tortured by some members of the Oodua People’s Congress over an alleged missing N80,000.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the victim was flogged with a horsewhip and tortured with a knife by the men, who told the Abeokuta, Ogun State indigene to confess to the theft of the money.
The case was said to have been reported to policemen from the Area K Command, who arrested the leader of the group and the person that owned the money.
Our correspondent gathered that Oloyede’s travail started after he went to pray for the woman who owned the money, identified only as Maria, at her aunt’s house in Agumo, in the Oko Afo area.
After the prayer on Wednesday, August 30, 2017, Oloyede, who was also the choir master of his church, was called on the telephone that N80,000 had gone missing in the house.
He told our correspondent that he thought his host was joking until he was abducted on the church premises by the OPC members who came with locally-made guns.
He said, “Maria is a member of my parish where I serve as a prophet and choir master. I had prayed for her several times, including when she needed a job. She got a lucrative job in the Lekki area of Lagos State.
“As appreciation, she voluntarily contributes to my seminars, crusades and other events of my ministry. About two weeks ago, she called and said I should come to pray for her at her aunt’s house in Oko Afo.
“I usually don’t go to minister to people in their houses. But due to her financial commitment to God’s work, I decided to honour her. She came to pick me at the bus stop around 5pm on that Wednesday.”
He said after the prayer, Maria saw him off to where he took a motorcycle back home.
The 23-year-old told PUNCH Metro that after about four hours, his host called him on the telephone and said she was looking for N80,000.
“She said a 13-year-old girl that was lying on the floor in the room claimed that she saw me searching bags in the house.
“I wondered how I could do such a thing and I asked her if she told me about any money. She said I was a prophet and that I could have seen the money with my spiritual eyes. I felt embarrassed and ended the call,” he said.
Oloyede said his mother called him at the church to say that some people had been threatening her over the missing money.
“On Sunday, I saw two people in our church at Morogbo. They said they were OPC members and that they wanted to interview me at the bus stop over the missing money. They equally claimed that Maria was also at the bus stop. I decided to follow them.
“I mounted the motorcycle they brought and we left. However, as soon as the motorcycle moved, I saw four other motorcycles coming behind us with many OPC members; and they displayed guns, charms and cutlasses. When we got to the bus stop, they didn’t stop. That was when I started sensing trouble.
“When we got to Oko Afo, I met their leader, Alagbada. I was put in their cell. They tied my hands and legs and started beating me. They used a knife dripping with hot palm oil to torture me. They also used sticks, horsewhips and bottles on me. They said I must confess to the crime,” he said.
PUNCH Metro learnt that the OPC leader called the leader of the parish, who also informed some members of the church about the incident.
The OPC members, who reportedly put a video camera before Oloyede, also put the call to his church leader on speaker mode.
The victim said he nearly died as the torture went on for over four hours.
“They called my church leader and elders on the telephone that they should listen to my confessional statements. They had tortured me from 6pm to around 11pm. I didn’t know when I started saying I did what I didn’t do,” he said.
The OPC men were said to have asked the victim to bail his phone with N4,000. Out of the N4,500 balance in his bank account, he reportedly transferred N3,000 to them, while his mother supported with an additional N1,000.
After getting the phone, the men also demanded the payment of N95,000, with N80,000 as a refund of the stolen money and N15,000 for bail.
The victim said he reported the case to the Area K Police Command as the Lagos State Commissioner of Police, Edgal Imohimi, ordered the arrest of those involved in the torture.
The police reportedly arrested the leader of the OPC, Alagbada, and the complainant, Maria.
“Maria said she believed I took the money when she went to get a bottled water to entertain me during the visit.
“However, when the police asked for the whereabouts of the 13-year-old that reportedly saw me, she said the girl had been taken to Ajase where she was schooling. Her aunt had also fled to Ajase. They had so far refused to bring her. It all appeared like a set up. I later realised that Alagbada was Maria’s uncle,” Oloyede said.
The Lagos State Police Public Relations Officer, ASP Olarinde Famous-Cole, confirmed the incident, adding that the case had been transferred to the State Criminal Investigation and Intelligence Department, Yaba, for further investigation.
He said, “We have transferred the two suspects to the SCIID, where we will be looking at a case of assault. The victim was the one who reported to us, which should have been the other way round, but since they decided to take the law into their own hands, we will be investigating them primarily. However, there is no way we will investigate the assault without a reference to the alleged theft.”
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