Attackers of Osun church during vigil arrested

Three suspects were on Tuesday paraded at the Osun State Police Command’s headquarters over an alleged attack on a Celestial Church located in Odu Village near Osogbo.

The suspects allegedly attacked the church during a vigil in the early hours of Tuesday.

During the attack, the perpetrators abducted 12 members of the church, but the victims fled from their captors when they ran into some hunters and other local volunteers that responded to the distress call.

During the incident, a member of the church, whose identity was not revealed, was reportedly raped by the perpetrators.

Narrating what transpired, a musician, who was invited by the pastor in charge of the church to the vigil, Esther Ayodeji, during an interview with PUNCH Metro, said, “I arrived at the church a few minutes after 10pm on Monday to prepare for the vigil. We commenced the vigil around midnight. After my ministration, my drummers were still in the church, but I stepped out.

“A few minutes later, from where I stood with the pastor, we started hearing gunshots. The church is located in a bushy environment, so, we all ran into the bush. At a point, seven of us met in the bush. We were six women and a man. As we were wandering in the bush, two armed men suddenly appeared in front of us and we all ran in different directions.”

Another member of the church, who did not want his name in print, said the church member that was raped had been attended to at a hospital, adding that the abduction failed due to the quick response of the villagers, hunters and police operatives.

The state Police Public Relations Officer, Yemisi Opalola, who advised religious bodies against having programmes late in the evening or early morning, especially in centres located in isolated places, said the three suspects arrested near the scene were still being interrogated.

Parading other suspects that included those arrested for membership of unlawful societies and armed robbery, Opalola said Adebayo Adedayo and Adeyemi Sodiq had attacked a business owner in Iragbiji and stole money and items estimated at N877,000.

She added that Yusuf Baoku and Ajayi Ismail, who were arrested for attempted murder and membership of an unlawful society, and other suspects would be charged to court after the completion of the investigation.